Fire chief asks city for more funding

By BETH CRACE State Journal Staff Writer Published:

The city fire department is seeking to add a director for emergency and homeland security issues, 15 new personnel, more equipment and possibly another fire station down the road.

Fire Chief Wallace Possich on Monday told the City Commission during a work session to review next year's budget the fire department will need to add 15 new positions over the next three years.

Possich said hiring more personnel and purchasing new safety equipment are necessary to meet standards of the National Fire Protection Association.

The fire department also is seeking the creation of a new position, disaster and emergency services director, to coordinate disaster relief efforts and work on homeland security issues. Currently, Possich said, those duties fall to the fire chief.

"It's become a full-time job," Possich said.

The DES director, to be added next year if approved, likely would be someone with a college degree and an emergency management background, Possich told commissioners. In addition, the department would seek someone with "adequate political contacts."

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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