Six Immokalee firefighters will be offered their jobs back, and a fire station will reopen after the Immokalee Fire Department received a grant from the federal government to hire more personnel.
The Immokalee Fire Control District received a $700,000 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) last month, according to Immokalee Fire Chief Rita Greenberg.
The goal of the grant is to increase the number of "trained, 'front line' firefighters available in their communities," according to the FEMA website.
The grant, which is for two years, pays 100 percent of the salary and benefits for the firefighters, as well as fire department costs for those employees, including payroll taxes collected under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).
"It's for the guys who ride the truck," Greenberg said of the grant. "We are short six firefighters. We had to lay off six firefighters last year and those jobs will be offered back to the employees who were laid off first."
Read more in the Naples Daily News.