CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — The fire departments in Atlantic City and Camden are getting federal money that could be used to hire back laid-off firefighters.

U.S. Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez announced Wednesday that the cities’ fire departments have been awarded grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Camden is getting $5.1 million and Atlantic City $9.7 million. Trenton was awarded nearly $14 million through the same program last month.

Both Camden and Atlantic City have had deep layoffs in their fire departments since last year.

Atlantic City laid off 30 firefighters in September. Camden laid off 67 firefighters — about one-third of its force — last month.

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Atlantic City applied for the grant to rehire firefighters and add more. Camden applied to hire additional firefighters, and is exploring whether the money can be used for rehires.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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