Troy fire department debates staffing level, safety

TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – Controversy is swirling over staffing levels at the Troy Fire Department.

There are currently three vacant full time firefighter positions available on the department. The fire chief is suggesting that they budgeted for part time positions instead.

Tuesday night, Fire Chief Chris Boehringer presented a full analysis of staffing levels to city council members.

In his report, four recommendations:

  • To maintain the department’s current level of 38 full-time uniformed Paramedic staffing with no future reduction in full-time personnel.
  • Add $225,000 to the 2014 Fire appropriation to hire 24 part-time Firefighter/EMT staff.
  • Commit to an estimated $510,000 in the 2015 budget to support 35,040 part time hours.
  • Continue to analyze and monitor the workload and make staff adjustments accordingly ever year.

Chief Boehringer said one thing the recommendations would do is help the department meet national safety standards– increasing the minimum staff per day from eight to twelve.

He said it’s something they couldn’t do by hiring three full-time firefighters.

Many Troy firefighters said they disagree with the plan.

The International Association of Fire Firefighters presented a report on their behalf.

In outline form, the report listed the reasons they believe part-time firefighters are “a bad deal for the citizens of Troy.”

Training costs, high turnover rate, reliability, and competency made the list.

City council members said they will be taking time with this decision. They will examine Chief Boehringer’s recommendations and eventually they will be presented at a regular city council meeting.

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