Rhode Island's congressional delegation has announced a total of $17.8 million in federal funding to help Providence and Cranston hire and train new firefighters.
A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, a Democrat, says the funding will help fill a total of 95 firefighter positions that were vacated due to normal attrition and left empty because of economic hardship.
Providence will receive approximately $15 million to hire 80 firefighters. The rest will go to Cranston to hire 15 firefighters.
The funding is provided through the competitive Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.
The federal grants will cover the cost of the new hires for the next two years.