With nine new staffers, the township would have 47 full-time personnel, including five who are command staff. Since a department of only full-timers isn’t yet sustainable, the township hasn’t studied how many people would be needed for a full career department.
Fire and police departments in the entire region are lamenting the fact there is a dearth of part-time staff available, so many departments are beefing up full-time staff. Klussman said the department relies on six part-time staff a day, and if the grant is awarded, it would only need three part-timers daily.
Trustee Board President Steve Schramm said the increased staff would solve another issue that has been bothersome.
“It’s becoming more and more apparent that the model we’ve been using with as many part-time firefighters is just not sustainable,” Schramm said. “We would put so much energy into trying to train these guys and then they get stolen by another department looking for full-timers. So we are becoming a training mill for our young folks.”
Along those lines, the trustees also have approved a new tuition reimbursement program for training designed to recruit and retain new part-time people.
“It’s going to be helpful for us as we recruit new part-timers, but also retain the current ones as we help them get through paramedic school, which is the next big step for them achieving career positions,” Klussman said.