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The Hellsgate Fire District board recently approved the purchase of a new fire truck after an engine in one of its trucks stopped working.

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Nick of time!

Hellsgate nabs $607,000 federal grant to save firefighters’ jobs, adds battalion chief

Four Hellsgate firefighters will keep their jobs after the fire department received word on Friday that it is one of a handful of districts nationwide to receive a federal grant. Fire Chief Gary Hatch earlier this month sent termination letters to four engineers, more than half the department’s paid staff, to help close a projected budget deficit of $176,000. The department has already done without a battalion chief since May 2010 to help curb costs. Now the just-received federal $607,000 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant will not only save the jobs of all four engineers who drive the trucks, but allow the department to hire a new battalion chief.

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