The city of Bridgeport has received a $2.7 million dollar federal grant to hire 17 new firefighters.
“The federal grant is tremendously helpful for our city and our Fire Department,” Mayor Joe Ganim said in a statement. “The Bridgeport Fire Department has been dangerously understaffed for years and this grant will allow us to bring in a new class of badly needed recruits.”
He said the addition of more firefighters will make the city safer and also reduce spending on overtime.
“This grant will allow us to open the door to our new recruits and return our staffing level once again to full strength at 282 firefighters,” Bridgeport Fire Chief Richard Thode said in a statement. “These brave men and women put their lives on the line every day – at a moment’s notice – to protect a city of over 147,000 residents. With the addition of our new recruit class, our department will be better equipped to meet the needs of our community.”
Bridgeport’s class of 24 new fire recruits are scheduled to begin a week-long orientation at the Bridgeport Fire Headquarters on Aug. 22 and a 14-week training camp at the Connecticut State Fire Training Academy in Windsor Locks on Aug. 29.