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Federal Grant Would Pay for 5 Firefighters

City hopes to be chosen for two-year funding

Strongsville is seeking a federal grant that would pay for five new firefighter/paramedics for the next two years.

The city applied for the grant from the Department of Homeland Security.

"We put our name in the hat," Fire Chief Jeff Branic said. "There's no guarantee we're going to be chosen."

But if it is, Strongsville would be able to hire five new firemedics and the federal government would pay for their salaries, benefits and training for two years -- a cost Branic conservatively estimates at $400,000.

After two years, the five would stay on the staff, replacing five firefighters who are planning to retire over the next couple years.

"We'll train the five and bring them up to speed, then when the (others) retire, we'll have replacements," Branic said.

The -- like other city departments -- has kept pace with budget cuts since 2008 by not replacing employees as they leave or retire. 

Branic said that has taken a toll on staffing.

"We're doing okay right now," he said. "But with the grant, at least for two years, it would allow us to expand a little bit."

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