$4M federal grant still on track for IFD to hire 30 firefighters

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The Indianapolis Fire Department is banking on a $4 million federal grant to hire 30 new firefighters by April 1st.

The chief and union president say despite what's going on in Congress, their funds are approved and still heading to Indianapolis.

The ranks at IFD have thinned out by nearly 100 firefighters over the last several years, mainly through attrition because of retirements, resignations and other vacancies.

Local 416 President Mike Reeves says the money is needed to get manpower levels back up on the street.

Just weeks ago, FEMA announced IFD would receive money from its Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, set up to help city fire departments during the economic downturn.

"As soon as those recruits get through school, training, and start coming out on the streets, it will really start relieving our budge issues at the IFD. It couldn't have come at a better time," Reeves told Eyewitness News.

According to the government's website, Indiana will lose about $262,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, courts, crime prevention and community corrections programs.