East Cleveland gets federal grant to hire more firefighters

Posted at 3:36 PM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 20:55:39-04

East Cleveland has had eight firefighters working per shift for the last six months. 

But, now some good news, daily staffing levels are about to increase.

A grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will help East Cleveland hire up to four additional firefighters per shift.

Bringing the total to 12 full-time firefighters per shift for this city of 17,000 people.

"It's very good news for East Cleveland, due to the economy inside of East Cleveland, we've had tremendous funding issues. We had to cut a number of things, and the fire department and EMS were the last things we had to cut, and we did that earlier this year,” said Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton. 

Norton expects to hire the firefighters in the next 30 days.

"Fortunately the grant of 1.7 million dollars restores the cuts we had to make to the fire department."

The grant runs out in two years, and East Cleveland could merge with Cleveland by then.

But for now, Norton will take any good news he can get.

"We certainly don't know what happens after the grant runs out in two years. One special thing about these grants, they do help for a period of time, but once the grant runs out, the city is on it's own again, unless the grant is renewed,” Norton said.

The federal grant will also allow East Cleveland to hire up to 15 part-time firefighters.