The Village Board on Tuesday denied a request from the Caledonia Fire Department to apply for a grant that potentially could have helped fund the addition of six firefighters to its staff.
Instead of authorizing the department’s application for a federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response — or SAFER — grant, the village trustees agreed to create an ad hoc committee to look into various options for financing and staffing at the department. The committee would plan to make recommendations for the 2020 village budgeting process.
The department has 39 firefighters, and department leaders would like to eventually add 18 more. The department never has the 15 firefighters on duty to respond to a structure fire, per National Fire Protection Association standards, and must rely on neighboring departments for help in those instances.
Fire Chief Richard Roeder and Battalion Chief Jeff Henningfeld requested approval to apply for the grant during a March 4 meeting, but were asked to come back on Tuesday with more information on the cost of the new hires to the village.