Sunday, July 22, 2001
Mason may add six firefighters
By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer
MASON City Council on Monday is expected to approve the hiring of six full-time firefighters/paramedics, an important step toward becoming a full-time department.
Council members are also expected to approve a contract with Southwest Regional Paramedics for paramedic services for three months to fill vacant shifts and cut back on overtime.
In recent weeks, city officials have hired 17 part-time paramedics and emergency services technicians, boosting to 80 the number of part-timers. There are nine full-time positions in the fire department: three emergency medical services supervisors, two fire inspectors, two deputy chiefs, one chief and one secretary.
The fire department has been served mostly by part- time personnel since it began in October 1998.
City Manager Scot Lahrmer said the addition of the six firefighters is a step toward becoming a full-time fire department.
It's necessary for the city to move forward and bolster our service level in the fire department with the addition of full-time staff, Mr. Lahrmer said. The Fire Organization Committee has been working with me on reviewing structure within the fire department, and this is one of the first steps to ensuring that our service levels continue to be able to meet the needs of the growing community.
Mr. Lahrmer and the committee also are working to hire a new chief for the fire department. H. Michael Drumm, the most recent fire chief, resigned in May after Mr. Lahrmer told him he was not a good fit for the department.
Adding more staff is considered an important step toward boosting morale and bringing stability to the fire department, which has seen three chiefs in a five-month period.
Several firefighters have complained of low staffing and the inability to respond quickly to emergencies.
Lt. Brad Weesner said the continued residential growth in this Warren County city of more than 22,000 residents warrants hiring more firefighters.
We're definitely well beyond the range of a strictly volunteer organization that we used to be, said Lt. Weesner.
The size of the city has been continually increasing, he said, and it's just time for us to step up to the full-time status.
Toddler recovers from gunshot wound
Lynch's comment on looted guns, buyback denied
Fest-goers find fun
Flooding victims begin to take stock
Mobile-home residents feel fortunate to be alive
Shop owner decides to forge on
Flooding makes impact at all income levels
An apple and a house for the teacher
Certified teachers in short supply
Area D.C. interns say work OK amid Levy hunt
Cancer worker reaches needy
This week's diversity events
PULFER: A lifetime of bravery in 3 years
Robber forgot commandment
Voting catch: Many don't know how
Car break-ins strike Kenton
Inspector's out to keep green acres
Mason may add six firefighters
Newport pushes to sell water works
Tristate's Priciest Homes
At KFC's test kitchen, proof is in the market
Dad takes on Oxy sellers
Delaware County keeps on zooming
Golf course plan hits rough