BUFFALO, N.Y. — A new federal grant will allow the City of Buffalo to add 50 firefighters to the department, Congressman Brian Higgins announced Wednesday.

"A lot of hard work went into it, so it was very gratifying to see that we were granted that award," Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo said.

The $9.8 million grant was made available through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Services program, or SAFER, which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

"Buffalo is home to an incredible team of firefighters who work to protect our community from fires and other emergencies," Higgins said. "This federal grant funding will go a long way in strengthening the city’s fire department and adding more dedicated personnel who work tirelessly to keep our community safe."

Commisioner Renaldo said staffing at the department is currently where it should be, these new hires will help with upcoming retirements and unexpected injuries.

The new firefighters will be in the next recruit class and will be on the job in February.

SAFER grants are intended to increase the number of firefighters and help departments meet federal standards.

Congress approved $350 million in SAFER grants available nationwide this fiscal year.

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