Milton Fire Department is in the midst of a “staffing crisis,” due to a lack of volunteer firefighters, according to Chief Ernest Rhodes.
While Rhodes is unsure of the reason behind the shortage, he said it’s been difficult to have more than one or two people respond to calls.
“Fires and medical emergencies takes staff. You’ve got to be able to put the people on the trucks and get them there as soon as possible,” Rhodes said.
Since December, there have been times when no one was able to respond to calls in Milton, and Janesville staff needed to respond, according to Rhodes, which significantly lengthens the response time.
“It’s not their fault. (Volunteers are) just not there anymore,” said Rhodes.
The department’s budget would have to increase by about $800,000 to have a completely staffed station, according to Rhodes. Without those funds, the chief said it’s time to consider unifying Milton and Janesville fire departments.