HAMILTON — With the help of a $1.1 million personnel grant, the Hamilton Fire Department will soon fill seven firefighter vacancies.

Chief Joseph Schutte said this was the department’s second time applying for the grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. In 2009, the department wasn’t awarded any funds.

The grant is specifically meant for the hiring of firefighters through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program.

“We all know how the general fund has been in the recession and money has decreased over the years,” Schutte said. “This comes at the most opportune time for us to provide the same level of service we’re all accustomed to.”

Schutte said after the seven firefighters are hired, there will be still three vacancies.

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