The Monterey Fire Department had a delayed response to a fire that damaged a housing authority unit Wednesday.
The Putnam County Fire Department arrived on the scene first because Monterey had no firefighters available at the station.
Monterey Fire Chief Kevin Peters said the incident backs up his request for the city to hire some part-time firemen.
“This is a prime example. If the county would have been on another call somewhere in their own jurisdiction it would have been a lot worse,” Peters said. “They would have lost that whole unit and I don’t know if anybody would have got injured, but this is a major concern that they need to look at.”
For the past several years Peters has asked the City of Monterey to fund at least six part-time firemen. He said most of his 13-volunteer firemen have other jobs to attend during the daytime shift.
“I appreciate the response from the county and the guys that finally could make it from Monterey,” Peters said. “There was four of us that ended up showing up, but it was a delayed response because everybody was out-of-pocket. I was down in Cookeville.”
Peters has requested the city fund four part-time workers in the upcoming budget and a $16,000 increase to the recruitment and retention of personnel.