By DOUG NURSE www.ajc.com
The city of Milton will receive $316,000 in federal assistance to hire new firefighters, said Congressman Tom Price."Sometimes good things happen up here," Price said with a laugh. "The purpose of the grant is to make sure that certain jurisdictions have money and training they need. Milton put together a good proposal."
The grant allows the city's fire department to proceed with plans to hire 12 additional people, which will allow it to use all of its trucks. A fire engine was mothballed about four months ago, and its crew was shifted to a newly acquired ladder truck. The extra staffing will enable the fire department to put the engine to use as well. The new hires would bring the department to 56 firefighters.
The Homeland Security-Federal Emergency Management Agency grant will hire three firefighters and pay part of their salaries for five years. The city will fill the other nine positions.
All the recruits should be on board by mid-April, said interim City Manager Chris Lagerbloom.
The firefighters bring a range of experience from rookie to veteran, he said."It's good to have some new blood, but you don't want it all to be new blood," Lagerbloom said.