CLEVELAND - The White County Board of Commissioners want to explore setting up 24-hour full time paid fire protection for the county. <br />
During a meeting Monday the commissioners heard a request from White County Public Safety Director David Murphy for an additional personnel for the fire department, which would bring the number of paid personnel in the department to 10. The commissioners said with that number, we need to explore using those personnel to provide 24-hour coverage. <br />
The fire department has seen a drop in the number of people volunteering to make fire and rescue calls in recent years. "If we go to 10 full-time, paid fire personnel, at 3 o'clock in the morning, and I think I speak for everyone here, we want someone to walk out of their office get in a truck and respond to a fire," said Commission Chairman Travis Turner. "As a citizen of the county that's what I'm starting to expect. We don't have that right now, and if we're looking at adding an additional employees for the fire department... it behooves us to look at doing that."<br />
"We've got a responsibility to tax payers to provide coverage and I see this as an opportunity to do so," Turner said.<br />
After some discussion, the commissioners tabled the issue to give commission staff and White County Public Safety Director David Murphy time to work out details. <br />
Murphy said after the meeting they have their charge from the commissioners and will get to work on that. "The basis is we want to do all we can to provide 24 hour coverage for the fire department and we're going to go back and look at the ways we can use existing staff to do that and provide that enhance level of service," he said.
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