Thanks to a successful recruitment drive, the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department is seeking to purchase new turnout gear and equipment.
Clinton Fire Chief Wayne Walch submitted a formal letter to the Village of Clinton requesting that $25,000 set aside for a Fire Underwriter Survey be diverted to purchase new equipment, including turnout gear, helmets, and coveralls.
“We have had a very successful recruitment drive and need to get more gear to accommodate more people, as well as replace some outdated gear,” Walch said in the letter, which went before council at its meeeting on Wednesday, Nov. 25.
Council passed a motion to reallocate the funds towards new gear.
The fire department had sent out a letter to Clinton homeowners in early November seeking new recruits, warning that if it did not have enough volunteers, residents could face increased home insurance costs. Assistant fire chief Karl Hansen says the recruitment drive drew a high level of interest from the community, with six people pledging to become volunteer firefighters. The new volunteers will bring the number of volunteer firefighters to 14.
“It’s nice. It is a big commitment, so people who are able to give up that time and make it is always good to see,” Hansen says, noting that in the past they would likely only see interest from one or two people.
Hansen says that after a meeting with CAO Murray Daly, it was determined the Fire Underwriter Survey would not be in the village’s best interests, and the money would be better used for new fire equipment.
The survey is something every community goes through, and Clinton has already done one. Hansen explains that a community’s fire protection rating is evaluated by looking at the fire department, the village’s water system, and other mitigating factors. Clinton’s rating is unlikely to change, he adds, so it would be a waste of money to do another survey.