FAIRFIELD, Ohio (FOX19) - Fairfield City Council voted Monday 6-1 against accepting federal grant money to add six firefighter and paramedic positions to the city’s fire department.
Ahead of the vote, there were no comments from council or from the public.
The Fairfield Professional Firefighters Local 4010 did reach out to FOX19 NOW about their staffing concerns within the department and their desire to see the resolution for the grant money adopted.
Union Vice President Chad Cooper says Station 33 in Fairfield frequently operates at “minimum staffing levels,” which means simply a paramedic unit.
Cooper reports 83 percent of the time Jan. 1-Aug. 1, 2019, the fire hall was left with an unstaffed fire engine.
According to the resolution submitted by Fairfield Director of Finance Scott Timmer, the grant would have covered the $510,615 of the $680,820 needed to make the new hires in year one and two.
The cost to the city in the first two years was estimated at $170,205.
In year three the city would be responsible for $442,533 of the overall cost. In a 3-year stretch, accepting the grant would have cost the City of Fairfield a total of $782,943.
FOX19 NOW asked the fire chief for comment and were directed to the city communications office. We asked the city manager and city council for comment immediately following their Nov. 25 meeting and were directed to the mayor. We asked Mayor Steve Miller for comment before he left council chambers Monday night and were promptly refused.