Waterford firefighters laid off as grant money expires

- Due to an expiring FEMA grant, the Waterford Fire Department must lay off dozens of firefighters. One-by-one, the men and women showed up at the station Thursday morning to turn in their gear.

The grant was awarded to the department back in 2012 and financially allowed for 39 firefighters to be hired. Each one was made aware the job may not be guaranteed if the grant money expires.

"These mena nd women that are leaving today, they're resillient. they're amazing people. i have complete faithe that they're going to find jobs," says Deputy Chief Matthew Covey. "We've been called by Alaska. We've been called by other departments around here saying we're hiring. EMS companies call us daily saying we're hiring. There are job opportunities out there. We don't want them going somewhere else; we want them here. But the reality is tomorrow morning, they're going to be looking for employment somewhere else and that's sad."

FOX 2's Roop Raj says a recuiter for an EMS company contacted him on Twitter after seeing the report to get the word out that Emergent Health Partners (Huron Valley Ambulance) is hiring paramedics and EMTs. The agency serves eight different counties in southeast Michigan.

The Waterford fire chief is also applying for another grant to hire back the 39 firefighters, and perhaps even some additional employees. They're able to apply now as a department that's had to lay off workers, which may bolster their chances of receivng the money.

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