MEDINA — The city’s fire chief said he’s finding it tough to keep staffing levels up.
“We’ve lost six guys here in the last few months and it’s getting harder and harder to replace them,” Fire Chief Bob Painter said.
He said some of the firefighters got other jobs and others moved away with their families.
State mandates also have played a part, he said.
“A lot of it is just the demands placed by the state,” Painter said. “Back in the day, it was pretty easy — 30-40 hours (of training) and you were a firefighter. Now it’s the seven-week training academy … and it’s pretty demanding on people.”
Painter estimated that the volunteer department is down to about 38 people.
“We’d like to get it back up to about 50,” he said.
The Medina department also serves Medina and Montville townships.
Last year, the Medina Township department with 40 part-time volunteers was dissolved and merged with the city department.
Only about a dozen township firefighters applied for positions with the city and a handful were hired.
Although staffing is down, Painter said it hasn’t affected response times.
“We just realized we were getting a little light, so we want to get ahead of the curb and make sure that we have adequate staffing,” he said.
Anyone interested in becoming a firefighter can come to Medina Fire Station 1, 300 W. Reagan Parkway, for an application and information.