Trustees explore possibility of adding three full-time firefighters/medics

April 16 township trustees meeting

Hinckley Township Trustees have indicated they soon will begin discussing the hiring of three full-time firefighter-paramedics later this year in an effort to improve safety for both township residents and visitors.

Fire Chief Jestin Grossenbaugh said the move has been a goal for his department since voters approved the new 2022 fire levy and renewal. He said the idea is to hire one firefighter-paramedic to work each of the department’s three shifts, with the other two staffers on duty being part-time employees.

“This guarantees we will have a medic [on staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week] and also helps us fill some spots as we lose [firefighters] all the time because they accept full-time positions with other departments,” he said.

Grossenbaugh explained that having three full-timers on staff would enable the department to reduce its roster from its current staff of 36 down to approximately 28. That move, he said, would result in a significant savings for his department in the form of compensations and the cost of having to purchase of turnout gear to outfit such a large staff.

Based on that savings alone, Trustee Monique Ascherl said she would be in favor of making such a move.

“It seems like at least once a month we’re hiring a new firefighter and then we’re accepting a resignation a month or two later,” she said. “It becomes very costly for the township to interview, hire, conduct background checks and training new personnel. … In the long run, we’re not only going to save money, but we’re also going to make Hinckley a safer place for the residents and people who visit the township by assuring them we always have a full-time medic on staff … who knows the ropes.” ∞