MARTINEZ (KCBS) – The largest fire district in Contra Costa County, which has been suffering from deep budget cuts, has received a substantial federal grant that officials hope will improve fire and emergency response.

Contra Costa Fire Protection District Chief Daryl Louder told county supervisors on Tuesday that he’d accept any temporary financial improvement.

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KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

“The way the budget was adopted last week, it would call for the closure of several fire stations, a total of five units that would go out of service starting July 1,” Louder said.

But the district has received a $6.5 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The funding is for 21 firefighter positions over a two year period.

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Contra Costa Board of Supervisors Chair Gayle Uilkema said budget realities have not disappeared.

“I’m trying to make sure that people understand exactly what the implications of accepting the grant are,” she said. “We still have a financial problem.”

But Chief Louder said the money will help, especially with response times in the district’s vast coverage area.

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