Federal grant to fund additional firefighters in Roanoke County

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ROANOKE CO., Va. (WDBJ7) Roanoke County has landed a federal grant that will help bring the fire department up to full staffing.

Photo courtesy: MGN

The county won a competitive grant of more than $1 million to hire 11 new firefighters.

And Chief Stephen Simon says it will have a major impact on operations.

"Back in Spring of 2016, I had to make the decision to take two ladder companies out of service because we literally didn't have people to run the ladder companies," Simon said Tuesday afternoon. "This staffing will help us into the future years."

The department starts its next training academy in November, and the additional firefighters should be on the street by the end of March.