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San Jose Fire Department Hiring 27 Firefighters With $8.6M Federal Grant

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The San Jose Fire Department has obtained an $8.6 million federal grant, and with it fire officials plan to hire 27 new firefighters.

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant will also allow the department to ease its policy of “browning out,” the shutting down of equipment or stations to prevent paying overtime, officials said Thursday.

“We’re very thinly staffed in the city of San Jose,” fire Capt. Mary Gutierrez said.

She noted that department staff has been cut in recent years, and the grant is a welcome help.

This morning, fire department officials will join Mayor Chuck Reed, Congressman Mike Honda and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren to officially announce the new grant.

The news conference will be held at 11 a.m. at the San Jose Fire Department Training Center on South Montgomery Street.

The fire department said it anticipates that, after completing an 18-week academy training in October, the new fire recruits were slated to begin working in February 2013.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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