Holmen Area Fire Board considers staffing level with current population

  • Source: Onalaska Holmen Courier Life
  • Published: 10/21/2016 03:20 AM

Projected growth and changes in demographics in the Holmen Area Fire District has the fire department’s officers and board taking a look at what future needs will be. Holmen Area Fire Department Chief Paul Menches presented a needs assessment draft to the Holmen Area Fire District Association Board its Sept. 28 meeting. The board currently serves a population of about 18,000 district residents. According to the preliminary needs assessment, the U.S. Department of Labor has set the guideline of one full-time firefighter for every 1,000 residents. That guideline would indicate the department should have 18 full-time firefighters, not including administrative personnel. However, Menches believes the department needs to set out a course of action in developing a combination department that is effective and efficient for improved services, as well as fiscally responsible. The chief stated this standard could be met by employing a 45 percent full-time/55 percent part-time model utilizing one full-time employee per 1,000 in population and a ratio of two well-trained and certified part-time firefighter for every one full-time responder. “This would place the number of full-time firefighters at nine and part-time firefighters at 18 for a population of 19,000,” Menches said.


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