Firefighter jobs saved by federal grant

Thirteen firefighters will remain with the Saginaw fire department after federal funding was provided by a SAFER grant.

SAFER stands for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response.

With this money, Saginaw was able to keep the 15 firefighters it had intended to lay off, 2 of which are retiring leaving open positions.

The focus is now on the future which City Manager Darnell Earley says looks brighter.

"The firefighters union did sit down with my negotiating team," Earley says. "and they were able to work out some cost containment concessions, so we would have been able to bring some firefighters back anyway. "

This is a step in the right direction residents say, although more is needed to fight the arson plaguing vacant homes.

"I think its great that they can do more things with these buildings around here that are decapitating," says Mitch Mikusek a Saginaw resident. "They need the fire department, they need that extra grant".

Now that a plan is laid out to continue funding firefighters' salaries even after the grant is finished in 2 years, the department can breathe a little easier.

-Ahmad Bajjey