Four new volunteers are sworn in and ready to help current firefighters in the city of Lindsay’s fire division
LINDSAY – Lindsay’s police officers finally catch a break from the heat as newly sworn in volunteers offer 24/7 fire protection to the city.
On Sept. 5, the city of Lindsay officially obtained round the clock fire coverage for residents with the help of four new volunteers. This was a long time coming, as the city has been without designated fire volunteers and employees since 2011. This is the city’s first step toward traditional fire and police roles in their Public Safety department.
“The city of Lindsay is 100% committed to providing the highest level of service to the community and this action is [definitely] a step in the right direction,” stated a press release from the city of Lindsay.
The volunteers’ role is to supplement the city’s current firefighters and provide enough manpower to fight structural and natural fires, without having to recruit police officers.
Lindsay is one of three departments in the entire state to have a public safety department where the officers have dual fire and police roles. The officers were originally cross trained and would trade their blues for a fire suit when the need arose. Now, however, cross training officers is much more costly and inefficient, leading the city to begin developing two distinct divisions within the public safety department.
“Due to changes in training standards and budget restraints, [our] model was no longer feasible, and it became more and more difficult to maintain,” stated the press release. “Thankfully, the City can now implement a more traditional fire/police public safety model.”
In addition to the volunteers, Lindsay also hired three full-time firefighters for the first time in over 10 years. According to city manager Joe Tanner, the department is only wanting 3-4 full time firefighters on staff, but backed with a volunteer pool of about 15 people.
According to city manager Joe Tanner this is not the end of officers’ cross training as firefighters, “but it is definitely a step in that direction.” Notwithstanding the pivotal step to create a fire division within the Lindsay Public Safety Department, the city recognized they are still a ways off from funding its own dedicated fire department.
The new volunteers can now begin training from the ground up, aiding the department with the basics, such as hooking up to hydrants and traffic control. As the volunteers become more accustomed to the fire equipment and city layout, they will be trusted with more responsibilities.