Orange FD applies for grant to hire more firefighters - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Orange FD applies for grant to hire more firefighters

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Efforts are underway to hire more full-time firefighters in Orange, but with that comes at a cost for the town. 

In Orange, when there is an emergency, three firefighter/paramedics respond, but Fire Chief James Young says, three just isn't enough.
"It'll also assist us in supporting the two advanced ambulances that we run for both the town of Orange and surrounding towns," said Chief Young.
With the town council's permission, he's applying for a safer grant through FEMA that would help fund three new positions. One for each shift, for the first three years. 

After that the town would be responsible for the funding, and raising the cost of the fire department's operating budget.
"It's very important to us. I'm not going to sugar coat it, it is going to cost the taxpayers money but it is a level of service that we feel that is very important and that we need to provide. and we are asking that they chose to fund that level of service," Chief Young noted. 
If they receive the grant, there will be a special town meeting for the taxpayers to vote on whether or not they are prepared to pay for the additional safety.
In Orange, they respond to 2,000 calls a year. 
If it's approved, another person will be on the trucks, on scene first which is something that is crucial according to Chief Young. 

Chief Young said that often times they have to wait for off duty firefighters to come from their homes to scenes to attack the interior fires.
"It's very important for the tasks that we try to accomplish on the fire ground in a very short period of time. It gives us the opportunity to have two people aggressively attack the fire via the interior, while having two people still outside as their rescuers if something were to go wrong in the early moments of the fire," he explained. 
The fire department won't know if they receive the grant for a few months, and then its up to the town of Orange to decide. 

Chief Young added that they will never stop applying for grants and trying for funding to keep people safe.

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