A $2M grant has allowed the city of North Port to hire 21 new firefighters. Most of them will be stationed in the West Villages area.
Under the staffing for adequate fire and emergency response, or SAFER, grant, the federal government pays 75 percent of the salary of the new firefighters. By year three, that amount drops to 35 percent.
The grant is meant to allow cities to staff up the first responders while also being able to catch up with funding.
The new additions mean there will be 37 firefighters working, per shift, in the city.