Footville exploring hiring fire department employees
"It's been discussed over past couple years," said Gary Selck, president of the fire commission and village of Footville. "We formed a committee now to do some research on it."
A study committee of Selck, Center Township Chairman Wayne Udulutch and Footville Trustee Rich Woodstock will research options and make recommendations to the fire commission, Selck said.
No meetings have been scheduled yet, but Selck said the group likely will spend a few months on its work. The group first is looking into how things work in surrounding communities.
"There's a lot more paperwork that needs to be filled out these days, and it takes a lot of time," Selck said.
Increasing state and federal mandates are requiring more paperwork, Fire Chief Dan Jacobs said. He does much of that paperwork himself, but also tries to get help from other volunteer firefighters.
The volunteer department of about 20 members covers Footville, all of Center Township and a part of Plymouth and Magnolia townships, he said.
Budgetary constraints among all of the fire district members will be a determining factor, Selck said, and officials have no idea on costs yet.
"It's going to be up to the budgets in all of those places to come up with something that we think we can handle," he said.
With an aging population and more training required for volunteers, it's becoming tougher to get people to join the department, Selck said.