An ongoing shortage of volunteer firefighters is bringing renewed debate to a long-argued issue. Should Millcreek Township have a paid fire department?
This shortage is going to be the hot topic at tonight’s Millcreek Township Supervisor’s meeting. The Millcreek Township fire chiefs will be addressing the township supervisors about the staff shortages they are facing on a regular basis.
You can’t fight fire without firefighters. The current state of Millcreek fire service can present challenges for residents.
Millcreek Township Supervisor John Groh tells us, “my late father was very involved with the Millcreek Fire Company here… as a kid growing up in the house, how many dinners were interrupted? How many times days were interrupted with him answering a call? So, I understand that. “
Concerns regarding fire service in Millcreek Township is a stressful situation not just for the five fire companies being used, but also the township. The service problem occurs especially during the day.
Two of the factors are a decline of volunteers and an increased population.
Dan Ouellet, Fire Chief of West Ridge Fire Department, says, “typically, a residential fire requires 15-20 firefighters to safely and efficiently operate. We are typically operating at around half. “
Another factor is the amount of dedication and involvement that volunteer firefighters must have to maintain their credentials as firefighters.
Ouellet tells us they’re “hoping for some direction for the supervisors and their vision of where they see the fire service in the future.”
According to the township, one of the solutions that will be discussed in the supervisors meeting will be for Millcreek to head towards a career fire department.
The township says there will be a paid fire department in the future; the question of when that will happen will be discussed in tonight’s meeting, which begins tonight at 7pm. Stay tuned to JET 24 Action News for more!