Fire agency receives grant, adds workers

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Clark County Fire & Rescue has been awarded a SAFER grant to restore part of its firefighting force.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the grant, which will cover the cost of the salaries and benefits for three new firefighters for the next two years.

Due to the economic downturn and resulting budget shortfall, Clark County Fire & Rescue laid off 17 part-time firefighters at the end of 2009.

The department also changed two stations to have volunteer-only staff.

The three new firefighters have been chosen and will begin their duty July 1. All three will participate in 12 weeks of training at the state fire academy in North Bend, in King County.