The Boardman Fire Department added three new recruits to its force at the January township trustees meeting. The three new firefighters are part of a Safer grant the department received last year.
"The three new personnel bring our numbers to 38," said fire Chief George Brown.
He said it still doesn't hit the high of 43 that the department had during better times. To bring the force up to 38 is a step in the right direction though. Brown said that number would remain in effect as part of the recent grant.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Firefighter Jessica Kollmorgen learns the water system on the Boardman Fire Department ladder truck from Capt. Don Kloes. Kollmorgen was hired to the department at the January township trustees meeting.
The grant is from Homeland Security and is geared at keeping fire departments at a safer level. It provides $334,000 which will cover the wages of three firefighters for two years. Brown said the third year will be covered by the township.
At the January meeting, firefighters Shaun Serich, Will Ferrando Jr., and Jessica Kollmorgen were sworn in. Serich's wages will fall under the grant.
Under the grant, funds are provided to bring back three laid-off firefighters. Two who were laid off came back, and Serich will make up the third position. Also required is keeping the staffing at 38. Ferrando and Kollmorgen were hired to replace retiring firefighters so that the required staffing is fulfilled.
"We'd like to get more, but the current economic conditions won't allow for it," Brown said. "Our budget has been reduced for this year, but we agreed to maintain the 38 required under the grant."
Brown also mentioned he is proud of the fact his department was able to bring the staff back to 38 through the grant and without seeking additional taxpayer money.