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Boardman gets grant to fund volunteer firefighters



Published: Wed, June 26, 2013 @ 12:04 a.m.

By Josh Stipanovich

jstipanovich@vindy.com

boardman

About 25 new positions will be created in Boardman Township thanks to a $601,680 grant to fund volunteer firefighter training and outfitting.

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant will help train 25 volunteer fire- fighters as emergency medical technicians and at the Firefighter 1 and 2 levels, said George Brown, Boardman fire chief.

The grant covers the cost of the 25 volunteers without any local-match funding. It also will fully outfit each volunteer firefighter, something Tom Costello, a township trustee, said could cost up to about $2,500 per firefighter.

The grant “will help us outfit these people,” Costello said. “They will have the same training as our full-time guys.”

Brown said he hopes they will be able to start by September.

“The big thing we are looking to do is supple- ment our full-time firefighters,” Costello said. “We’re looking to make our residents and busi-nesses safer.”

The township in 2008 had to lay off nine full-time firefighters because of financial difficulties, ending the volunteer fire program, Brown said. The township received another SAFER grant in 2010, which allowed the township to bring three of the full- timers back. Two came back, Brown said. Since then, applying for another SAFER grant has been on Brown’s and the board’s agenda.

The township now has 38 full-time firefighters.

Its 38th firefighter was sworn in during Monday night’s trustees’ meeting.

Paul Michael Komandt, who served in the Air Force, comes from a family of firefighters. Brown said Komandt will be an asset to the department. “His skills and dedication will prove themselves out,” he said.

Trustee Brad Calhoun said about 90 percent of fire departments are equipped with a volunteer fire staff. In that sense, he added, the township is behind because it has been without one for nearly five years.


Comments

1biteme(38 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

I can't imagine a volunteer trying to get to a fire in that Boardman traffic. Well at least they will be there in time to help clean up the front yard.

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2thelonewolf(6 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

I have to disagree with you biteme ive been a volunteer firefighter for over 5 years im also a firefighter in youngstown fire dept i was at the meeting! boardman has no money for its full time guys anymore volunteers are better for the township to save its money plus as a volunteer under the Ohio state patrols guidelines we can run lights and sirens in our Vehicles!! to get to the station ive ran red to a couple of boardmans stations and i live on the ass end of the township i have no problems getting to my station in the traffic and on my volunteer department were always there to save the house and clean up the front yard. the difference between a fulltime guy and a volunteer firefighter is the fulltime guy is getting payed todo it but a volunteer does it because we love the job! ill bet you didnt know some of boardmans stations only have 2 guys staffing it did you when they get a fire they call poland fire for assistance they call canfield youngstown and others. you should take a visit to one and see how we work just might shock you lol.

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3thetruthshallsetyoufree(9 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Here are some NFPA statistics for everyone to consider.
'There were 1,100,450 firefighters in the United States in 2011. Of these, 344,050 (31%) were career and 756,400 (69%) were volunteer.'

'Facts & figures
Most of the career firefighters (73%) are in communities that protect 25,000 or more people.
Most of the volunteer firefighters (94%) are in departments that protect fewer than 25,000 people, and more than half are located in small, rural departments protecting fewer than 2,500 people.'

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