$5.6M grant helps Atlanta hire 47 firefighters; many more still needed

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$5.6M grant helps Atlanta hire 47 firefighters; many more still needed

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JOHN SPINK / AJC
Atlanta firefighter, Latoya Bailey (left) and fellow firefighters remained on the scene putting out a smoldering fire Friday, March 31, 2017 at the I-85 collapse site while construction crews made their way into the zone to begin work. The Atlanta Fire Department recently received a $5.6M grant to hire 47 firefighters.

A $5.6 million grant from Homeland Security will aid the Atlanta Fire Department in hiring 47 firefighters.

The grant will allow the department to enhance its response capability in high density areas such as Buckhead, downtown and Midtown, Atlanta Fire Chief Joel Baker told Channel 2 Action News. 

Dozens of recruits are in training. Yet, the department still has a deficit of about 150 vacancies.

“We’re going to the high schools, we’re going to the Hispanic community, we’re going to the LGBT community” for recruits, Baker told the station. 

This is the second time the department has received the Homeland Security grant, and taxpayers won’t have to pick up the cost for the 47 new firefighters until 2019, Channel 2 said. 

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The firefighters will work in heavily populated areas of the city, starting at Fire Station #4.
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