SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The Southington Fire Department received a $1.2 million grant, state officials announced.

Gov. Ned Lamont, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, and Congressman John Larson joined the Southington Fire Department at Engine Company 3 Tuesday morning.

The purpose of the grant is to hire three additional firefighters for the department. The funds are possible thanks to the SAFER grant provided by the Development of Homeland Security.

“All the firefighters here worked right through the worst of COVID,” Lamont said. “No one was saying, ‘I don’t feel safe. I think I’ll telecommute this week.’ You were showing up every day, you didn’t have a choice, and we couldn’t have done it without you.”

“This station, Monday through Friday, for response times, is a challenge throughout our community, so what these firefighters will do is staff an engine, and they’ll respond throughout our communities,” Southington Fire Chief James Paul Jr. said.

After new employees are hired, the fire chief said they will go through 15 weeks of training at the fire academy. Their first day on the job will be in June 2022.