Every single one of the eight firefighters laid-off last year, is eager to get back to work.
That includes Bill Christiansen, who's been working odds and ends jobs in the area, waiting to return where he belongs: "I think all of us decided if the chance arose, we would all come back."
A promise kept. Every man laid-off last summer goes back to work next week.
"It means a lot that these guys did come back. It shows that they're here to protect the citizens of Lansing," said Steve Mazurek of the Lansing Fire Department. He says it's good for the firefighters, but even better for the City: "We might have one more guy on that rig, you know, and maybe three more guys on a shift."
But there's a lot they've missed in the past year, so this week has been about hitting the books, and practicing old procedures.
"Some of the guys at the station were anxious to get us back because it's a different place without us; like, part of your family is missing," continued Christiansen.
The Federal Safety Grant will stop funding the eight firefighters' pay in two years, but the firefighters are not worried about losing their jobs again. They share that view with the Mayor, who tells us they are already doing everything they can to make sure money is budgeted for when the grants run out.
Even if the money isn't there, the Fire Department is about to lose several of their staff as they retire, and they would simply not re-hire if need be.