Shortage of Grafton Volunteer Fire Department personnel sparks call for staffing talks

  • Source: Ozaukee Press
  • Published: 12/28/2016 01:03 PM

Finding a few good men and women to join the ranks is not a new challenge for the Grafton Volunteer Fire Department. But as he and his staff continue to grapple with ways to attract members, Fire Chief William Rice would like the search to spark a more serious discussion about staffing needs. Recruiting firefighters and emergency medical technicians “has been a huge problem for a long time,” Rice said. “It’s very difficult. A lot of people are looking for full-time employment, and a lot of people have many family commitments that keep them from serving or staying with the department. “The competition for people’s free time is very challenging.” Since being hired as Grafton’s first full-time fire chief in July 2013, Rice has overseen a variety of upgrades in the once-all-volunteer department. After an initial drop in membership, the department currently has about 60 active firefighters and emergency medical service personnel, he said.


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