The Lowell Fire Department has been awarded $610,374 in federal funding to hire four new firefighters to help enhance fire protection throughout the city. The funding is coming from the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program, according to a statement released by US Representative Niki Tsongas. It was secured through a competitive grant process and will pay 75 percent of the salary of four new firefighters for two years and 35 percent of their salary for a third year, according to Lowell Fire Chief Jeffrey Winward. “We currently have 208 firefighters here in the city,” Winward said. “Boosting our staffing will save more lives and property, reduce company closings, and reduce overtime costs.”Brenda J. Buote can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.