PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Providence has 83 new firefighters in the largest addition of graduates from the department’s training academy.
WJAR-TV reports it is also the Providence Fire Department’s most diverse recruiting class. More than 100 firefighters retired in the past couple of years after Democratic Mayor Jorge Elorza imposed a controversial shift change in 2015 to reduce overtime costs.
The city is also about to pay several million dollars to the firefighters to settle their fight over the shift change.
Elorza’s administration argues while overtime is currently up, overall costs are down.
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The mayor and the firefighters ended their dispute over the shift change last year and have agreed to a new contract that lowers the number of firefighters required to be on duty.