SAFER grant secures 32 firefighters in Flint

James Larson lives on Colorado in Flint, a few doors down from Fire Station Five, which could have closed if a federal grant did not come through.

With it, 32 firefighters will keep their jobs.

"That's good news. The best I've heard today," says Larson. He tells NBC25 he was considering moving if the station were to close and dozens of firefighters were laid off.

He says his family is his first priority. "Now I feel better that Station Five is staying open and more firefighters. We need them."

The firefighters union says this not only secures 32 jobs of the 83 member department, but also makes way for six to seven additional hires since there will be some retirees soon.

"It is the most encouraging news that we could have expected," says Flint Firefighters Local 352 president Trent Farnsworth. "Especially in the climate of fiscal challenges of the City of Flint and the fire department, this is a win for the community. Citizens can be now served in the manner that they should have always been served."

Flint's Abdul Miller says, "We do need them because houses burn down, and we don't have homes in Flint as is. We need to keep the firefighters."

The union would also like an ambulance transport system and hopes to get that with his grant.