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Laid Off San Jose Firefighters Back At Work

SAN JOSE (KCBS) --- Nearly two dozen San Jose firefighters who were laid off last year are back on the job, and a ceremony was held Thursday to mark their return.

One firefighter said he didn't expect to be rehired.

"I know a lot of guys went to different departments, and when the call came that they were going to hire us back, a lot of them came back because we had made our mark here and it feels like a family," he said.

KCBS' Mike Colgan Reports:

San Jose Fire Chief Willie McDonald said the additional staffing will make a big difference.

"We believe it will help reduce response time," he said. "The individuals that came back to us were incredible employees, and just that we think will enhance our services."

The money to hire back the firefighters came from a $15 million federal grant.

Mayor Chuck Reed said laying off the firefighters was a painful experience, and he's delighted that they can be hired back.

"This is a happy time when people are going back to work," he said. "We're grateful for the federal dollars that made this possible."

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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