City to hold off on hiring of three new firefighters in 2017 budget

North Ridgeville

By Michael Fitzpatrick

North Ridgeville fire Chief John Reese had hoped to add three new firefighters to his department this year, but the city doesn’t have the money and the department will continue to work shorthanded, according to Reese.

Reese said if the city had approved the three hires it would have allowed for the department to staff all three of its companies at full-staff 24/7. As it stands now, one of the three companies is sent out a man short, which limits its effectiveness and creates safety concerns.

In a perfect world, NRFD would run three companies a day of three firefighters. Currently, the department runs a three-man company out of each firehouse and a second two-man company out of the main house.

The setup was created in 2007 when the city was under a serious budget crunch and the two-man company was doing 25 calls a year. That number of calls for the two-man company has now ballooned to 750 calls a year, according to Reese.

“It’s been building up,” Reese said.

Reese said as it stands now, when a two-man team arrives at a working fire, all they can do is set up water lines and act as a “spotter” for other companies and departments that might be en route to the fire.

“It’s not the ideal situation,” Reese said.

Gillock said the city just does not have the money in its budget to hire the three firefighters.

“It’s something we want to look at, but we don’t have the funds to do it this year, so that’s not going to happen,” Gillock said.

Gillock said the only new hires that will come out of the general fund will be a full-time records clerk for the police department and two part-time workers in grounds and maintenance.

Obsolete fee is done away with

Home security systems at one time required that local police departments keep homeowner security codes on file. As a result, residents had to file paperwork with the city and were charged $5.

Mayor Gillock introduced and the council approved an ordinance that does away with the fee and registering at the council meeting on March 6.

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