Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News
By Steve Klamkin, WPRO News
A federal grant will enable the City of Pawtucket to hire 21 additional firefighters, to bring its department to its full compliment of 151.
"I couldn't put it into words how helpful its going to be", said Pawtucket Fire Chief William Sisson of the $4.2 million grant.
"The addition of 21 firefighters will bring us up to 151 on the department. It will lessen the load of the firefighters that are on the department."
The announcement of the grant came Monday in the fire station on Cottage Street, where Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman David Ciccilline joined Mayor Donald Grebien to announce the award.
The money is coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency through its Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER program.
Chief Sisson said he expects to begin an eight-week training academy soon, and hopes to have the new firefighters on the job by about May 8.
Mayor Donald Grebien called the grant, "very, very helpful."
"Truly, it has been a strain on the fire department." Grebien added that, "under the leadership of the chief, citizens have not gone without the proper public safety and security in the city."