For the first time ever, the West Rowan Volunteer Fire Department may pay several part-time firefighters.
Utilizing creative scheduling, the department for years has relied on dozens of dedicated volunteers who responded to house fires, brush fires, wrecks and medical emergencies on their weekends or days off from full-time jobs. But relying solely on volunteers, Fire Chief John Morrison said, is getting harder to do.
In order to have the funding needed to hire the part-time firefighters, the department has requested a 2-cent increase to the tax rate levied on property owners in its fire district.
“I’ve fought this thing for the last three years trying to decide what to do, but it’s gotten to the point where I’ve got to do it to provide the service, especially Monday through Friday in the daytime hours,” Morrison said.