BROCKTON--The City Council tonight is expected to hire nine new firefighters to help man a department that has not seen any new hiring in the last five years.
"It will start to help beef up our department," said Fire Chief Richard Francis.
He said during Monday night's City Council meeting at 8 p.m., eight new members of the department are expected to receive approval.
Francis said a ninth firefighter has been on the job for nearly two weeks. Francis said the ninth man had been laid off from another department and due to Civil Service rules was first on the list for rehire.
Francis said the firefighter has begun working because he does not need to be trained.
The other eight new members, Francis said, will attend the Fire Academy and are expected to man the trucks by early February.
"We haven't hired going on 5 years," Francis said.
Francis said the new hires are due to savings from city employees who have retired.
Francis said the department had 36 vacancies and with the nine new firefighters brings the number of vacancies down to 27.
"It will make a dent. It will really help," Francis said, adding during the summer he had to take one truck out of service because of a lack of manpower and another was unmanned part of the time.
"This isn't grant money, this came about from retirements," Francis said. "The Mayor (Linda Balzotti) and (Chief Financial Officer) Mr. Condon really worked hard to get us this," he said.