The Corinth-Shiloh Fire Department is at a turning point in its history. The call demand and population growth seen in the area has made maintaining an all volunteer fire station unmanageable. At the current rate of growth, the current volunteer recruit /training balance with volunteer drop out will under pace the need for service. We fear this will lead to a decline in call times, quality of emergency services and the potential to have to shut our doors. Why is a 100 percent volunteer station no longer sustainable?
The population has more than doubled meaning more calls. Call volume averages 2.5 per day! A total of 885 calls in 2022!
Training requirements for firefighters now exceed 500 hours compared to 80 hours 60 years ago.
Operating budget is $160,000.00. The cost to purchase firefighting equipment has increased to the point where we are becoming unable to maintain it at a safe and reliable level. For example, the current average cost for a fire engine is $625,000, a ladder truck $1.1 million, and to get a new volunteer fully trained and outfitted with the appropriate gear $6,000.00. We simply do not know if we will be able to fix and maintain equipment without a consistent budget.
Volunteer firefighters have to commute to station to answer calls which increases call times greatly. Having paid members would reduce call times moving forward.
With numerous calls per week volunteer firefighters/emt sacrifice their time with family and personal resources often leading to fatigue and burn out.
What we are asking and what is the cost?
The fire service nationwide is evolving towards paid full-time career departments due to the financial demands, training requirements, and time commitments placed on volunteers. The same problems reported across the nation are also being felt right here in our district. For us to continue to provide emergency response service to our community, we must secure a consistent and adequate source of funding. While we are incredibly grateful for all of those that donate, moving forward, this does not provide the consistent and adequate revenue stream needed.
We are asking for your support as we seek to establish a Special Purpose Fire Tax District which will allow us to have a consistent revenue source, shared by all the communities we serve. It will allow us to hire a Fire Chief along with paid Firefighter/EMT’s to take the burden off our dedicated volunteer staff and assure that we are able to answer emergency calls in a timely and efficient manner. Establishing a Fire Tax District will also help us maintain our fleet of emergency apparatus and enable us to keep up with the continued growth of our community.