Federal money helping West Springfield hire 8 new firefighters

Department has seen a big increase in calls, but their force has not grown

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It was an important moment Thursday for the West Springfield Fire Department.

Congressman Richard Neal brought the news that Fire Chief William Flaherty can hire eight more firefighters. The new firefighters will be essential to having adequate numbers of personnel at the increased number of calls the department has to deal with every year.

“Back in 1992, we compared this to- we had 3,400 calls we were doing. Now last year, we did 7,100 with the same personnel,” Flaherty said.

To hire those additional firefighters, Chief Flaherty’s department received $1.2 million in federal funds, plus another $700,000 provided by the town.