Nick McWilliams reporting – In an attempt to provide consistent staffing at the Strasburg Fire Department, the village is placing a 2.5-mil levy on the upcoming ballot.
Currently, volunteer firefighters provide the bulk of fire protection to the community, which can cause issues with availability.
Fire Chief Andy Slemmer says that under the proposed tax measure, Strasburg would have 24/7 staff within their building in addition to volunteer members.
“Our SAFER Grant is up [and] we want to continue the staffing [level] to help out the community. This is going to provide 24-hours a day, seven days a week, staffing. We’re going to have three guys a week, and also two personnel Saturday and Sunday.”
Under the new levy, taxes for residents with a home valued at $100,000 would pay roughly an additional $40 per year for the service.
Slemmer adds that keeping staff inside their garage at all times is vital for resident safety.
“[Right now} we only have part-time staffing, Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the station. After hours, we rely on our volunteers. But since our volunteers work other full-time jobs and have families, volunteer [numbers] are starting to go down.”
The village has discussed the notion of increased staffing over the past year, with both Strasburg and Franklin Township.
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