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Columbia Fire to Add Staff

The Columbia Fire Department announced Tuesday it was awarded a grant that will allow for the hiring of several new firefighters.The U.S. Department of Homeland Security approved a $658,120 Staff for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (STAFF) grant. The money will be used to pay for salaries and benefits for five new firefighters, pending city council approval. The salaries would be good for two years, beginning March 3rd.”This grant announcement is great news for public safety in Columbia,” Fire Chief Chuck Witt said in a statement. “The additional firefighters will provide much needed manpower and improve overall efficiency during emergency operations.”The department says the grant will allow crews to use a second fire engine at Station Two, which has only been used sporadically due to budget shortfalls stemming from 2010.

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