The city of Portland has saved 26 threatened firefighter positions, thanks to a $4.5 million grant awarded Thursday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Portland Fire & Rescue will use the grant to protect funding for 26 firefighter positions for two years.

Money to permanently retain the firefighters was eliminated in the city’s 2013-14 budget, but enough temporary funding was provided so the city could seek alternate funding via the FEMA grant. The grant, from FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant program, will keep Portland’s emergency response staffing at its current levels.

City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the fire bureau, said he hopes the firefighter positions will be retained after the two-year funding is expended.

"I will make certain City Council follows through on its commitment to reestablish this funding from local sources at the end of the grant,” Saltzman said, “and thank all our firefighters for their patience as this process unfolded and for the important work they do every day."

Steve Law can be reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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