New Philadelphia, Ohio (WJER) - The city fire department is welcoming seven new firefighters to its ranks.
New Philadelphia Fire Chief Jim Parrish says the new recruits are all sworn in and will now be going through their final phases of orientation before being integrated into the shifts. He says they have to become familiar with all the equipment at the fire station before they can be expected to use it.
“We go over every piece of equipment that we have. Our instructors take them through each vehicle, usually, one vehicle a day: our ladder truck, our rescue engine, fire engine, tanker. They go over both ambulances and all the equipment that is inside those vehicles,” he says.
Parrish says they will now have nine crew members during two of their shifts and 10 on the third. He says it’s all thanks to the more than $800,000 grant through FEMA to adequately staff the station based on increasing call volume over the years.
“We’re very fortunate to have the support of the mayor and the council to apply for grants,” he says. “You can’t run your business or run your city on grants, however, that’s bonus money and that’s another way to save the taxpayers money and be as frugal as we possibly can.”
The grant decreases over the next three years, and the city will have to cover the cost of wages for all the new firefighters after that, but Parrish says they expect savings on overtime hours will help offset some of that expense.