Published: May 28, 2010 9:03 PM EDT
Updated: May 28, 2010 6:09 PM EDT

35 firefighters will get their jobs back in the Lehigh Acres Fire District, if they want them.   The cash-strapped district is getting nearly 9-million federal dollars to re-hire laid-off people.

"This is a wondeful day for Lehigh, just a wonderful day," said Walt Stevens of the Intl. Assoc. of Firefighters in Fort Myers.  That union local helped with the application for a SAFER grant from the Dept. of Homeland Security.    SAFER stands for staffing for adequire fire and emergency response.

"This allows the district to get back to full staffing, it will make it better for residents and for the safety of firefighters themselves," added Stevens.

The district also can use the money to pay 12 firefighters who were in danger of losing their jobs this coming summer.

"I like it, I have been worried about the lack of people and slower reponse time," said Ramon Pedraja, a homeowner in Lehigh.   "This is a relief and great news."