The city of Smithville approved the funding of a full time firefighter.
Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker said he has asked the city for the past 12 years to fund the position. During this time, only one full time firefighter was approved. The chief himself. Now, Smithville Fire Department will have two.
“I look at that as a good start and a place where we can start building from there,” Parker said. “That will help us on keeping our equipment maintained. Between the two of us, this will help a little bit in responding to fire calls.”
Parker said the full time position will allow more coverage during the day while the majority of volunteers work their day jobs. Parker originally asked city council for two full time positions.
“We’ve got a really good volunteer fire department crew,” Parker said. “Only thing is we have a lot of them that work out of the city limits, so they can not respond to calls. Used to, we had a lot of people work locally. As time has evolved, they have moved on to other places for jobs.”
Also, the city council approved adding $1,500 to the fire department’s funding. Parker said the money will be used for training and traveling expenses for their volunteer fire fighters.
“The training and travel budget encompasses different weekend trainings we attend and trainings at the fire school,” Parker said. “Some weekend trainings had to change the time of year when they train to later in the year. The hotel expenses are little more later in the year.”
Parker said he appreciates the mayor and city council for working with the fire department. The second reading of the budget will be sometime before June 30th. Parker said applications for the positions will be posted after July 1st.