Three central coast communities were granted a total of $5.4 million in federal grants to hire additional firefighters and first responders under the "Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Program'' or SAFER.

Under the grant's guidelines, the city of Salinas Fire Department will get $2.9 million. The Greenfield Fire District was awarded more than $297,000 and the city of Hollister Fire Department will receive $2.2 million.

The program is supposed to help hire firefighters and find and keep volunteers as well.