Williston to add 9 full-time firefighters to ‘understaffed’ dept.

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 4:21 PM EST
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WILLISTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Williston officials say the town’s fire department can’t properly protect the community with existing staffing and they plan to add another nine full-time firefighter/EMTs to the payroll.

The Williston Selectboard recently gave the green light to advertise the positions after an outside consulting firm determined the department is severely understaffed, putting a strain on the current 12 person roster.

“Response time, of course, is a problem for both fire and for medical emergencies, so if we can’t get there, there’s a possibility of losing a life. Currently, if the crews are out and they get a call, they may have to abandon the fire truck by the side of the road for a substantial amount of time and that really is not a very good situation,” said Williston Selectboard Chair Terry Macaig.

He says adding the nine responders will cost the town an estimated $630,000. While the department is advertising for the positions now, Macaig says the budget will need voter approval on Town Meeting Day. The plan is to train and hire all nine positions between March and July of next year.

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