C.P. Fire Department wants more volunteers

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C.P. Fire Department wants more volunteers

Postby Big Dog » Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:59 pm

C.P. Fire Department wants more volunteers

CROWN POINT | Fire Chief Gary Huys plans to ask the City Council to increase the number of volunteers his department can use.

Currently, by statute, Crown Point Fire-Rescue can have 36 volunteers and has about 29. Huys would like to see the maximum figure go up by 10, or have the city remove the limit altogether.

"It would give us more flexibility," Huys said.

Without a limit, the department's budget still would constrain the number of volunteers it could afford. Training and equipment can cost between $3,000 and $5,000 per volunteer, Huys said.

Even if the increase is approved, it would take a while for the department to benefit.

The city recently announced a testing and hiring process for a new volunteer recruit class for the Fire Department. Huys said he received 25 to 30 applications, out of which he'll choose eight or nine to go through the physical, agility test and state-mandated 40-hour training in January. Of that number, he expects only two or three to stick with the program.

Many trainees have trouble with the time commitment involved, and some realize they can't handle the job, Huys said.

"The only way you're going find out is when they run into that first burning building how many people will say, 'No, I can't do that,'" Huys said. "Unfortunately, you end up spending a lot of time and money trying to find out."

The department also tries to slowly bring on new volunteers, so two new people don't end up going out on a call before they've had some experience.

Huys said he could bring the request before the City Council at its Dec. 5 meeting.
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