GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Fire Department has received over $2 million from the federal government to hire more firefighters.

The $2,862,128 was awarded to the department as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant. The money will be used to hire eight firefighters for three years.

One firefighter will be added at each ladder company at Martin Luther King and Kalamazoo Avenue fire stations in Grand Rapids.

The fire department said that many times, personnel at the MLK station’s Engine Company 2 is moved around on short notice to Utility 2, which protects first responders responding to highway emergencies. Hiring additional staff will allow Engine Company 2 to remain intact.

GRFD said the new hires will increase the safety of people in Grand Rapids.

“This grant along with other FEMA assistance that we have been lucky enough to receive will strengthen our ability to respond to areas where we have demonstrated gaps. We are very thankful for these Federal programs which reduce the stress on our city’s budget,” said Fire Chief John Lehman.

GRFD will start recruit training in January.