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Federal Grant Helps Detroit Keep Firefighter Jobs

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(WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas, File)

(WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas, File)

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A federal grant will allow Detroit to keep more than 100 firefighters scheduled to be laid off.

U.S. Sen. Carl Levin said Wednesday in a release that the city is getting $22.5 million from the Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program.

Mayor Dave Bing said Monday that 164 firefighters would be laid off by the end of July. He said he also expected a federal grant would restore 108 of the positions.

The remaining 56 firefighters will be recalled as jobs open through attrition.

The layoffs represent about 18 percent of the city’s 881-member fire department and are part of Bing’s efforts to reduce a budget deficit of more than $200 million.

Talking to WWJ Newsradio 950 earlier this week, Detroit Firefighters Association President o Dan McNamara called the layoffs “disastrous.”

“We used to tell everybody in the city that if you call us we’ll be there and we don’t know if it’s going to be that way anymore,” he said. (More on this here).

Detroit firefighters respond each year to about 30,000 calls.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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