DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Des Moines Fire Department is finally at full staff after 16 firefighters joined on Thursday.
After six months of training and certification requirements, the firefighters graduated and officially joined the department.
"It was so pivotal to be here," says graduate Kyle Murtaugh. "You miss one day in such an accelerated program, you're missing a lot of information in that short period of time. So even if we had the sniffles, I think we were here putting in the work because of that."
These hires will help solve a staffing shortage within the department, for which Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie says lawmakers are responsible.
"Somewhat restrictive revenues that we get sometimes are taken away from us in a building not too far from here with a gold dome on it," he says.
The firefighters' salaries are being paid for with a federal grant for the next two years.
The department expects to add even more firefighters later this year.