FLINT TWP. — For the first time since 2002, the township board has approved the hiring of three new fulltime firefighters.
The fire squad is made up mostly of on-call firefighters but the fulltime crew is tasked with manning the township’s three fire stations.
The department is currently operating with nine full time fire fighters but budgeted for 12, said Fire Chief Thomas Stadler, in his request to offer conditional employment to three people from the Civil Service list.
Clerk Kathy Funk noted that it was important to move forward on hiring before the Civil Service eligibility list expires in October.
“If we let that list expire then we have to start the whole process over,” she said.
“It would cost us at least $1500 to have to order testing again and have the Civil Service come to proctor the test.”
Overall, the board would be looking at costs of $6-7,000 to redo the Civil Service application and testing process, she said.
The names of the three new conditional hires were not disclosed pending their successful completion of training.
“There is no guarantee that all candidates will make it through; there is a stringent list of criteria they have to make it through,” said Township Supervisor Karyn Miller. “We definitely want to get this process going.”
The board voted five to one in favor of the hiring at its June 21 special meeting. Trustee Barb Vert voted no because she said she did not feel comfortable making a decision at that time. Trustee Frank Kasle was absent.
Fire Chief Tom Stadler said he was involved in the interview process of the three candidates and comfortable with offering them employment. He said he did not know how long it would take the three candidates to get up to speed. All have prior firefighting experience but need to learn the township’s operating rules.
The three new hires are needed to shore up the full-time ranks, especially with retirements pending. For now, their hiring will not lead to roundthe clock staffing of fire station one — a critical point with several vocal residents. Stadler said it is his goal to eventually restore fire station one to 24-hour operations.