On the heels of a growing population, the Bluffton (IN) Fire Department (BFD) is asking for two new stations and more staffing over the next two years, reports wane.com.
The National Fire Protection Association’s national recommendation is to have at least six firefighters working one truck, while the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration also mandates two firefighters on the truck to operate, while two to go into a burning building.
BFD currently has two paid firefighters on duty during a 24-hour shift; the station also has an engineer who works Monday through Friday. During the day the chief and assistant chief are also in the station. However, after 4 p.m. there are only two crew members on duty.
Town officials organized a task force to see the department’s needs. It showed the department’s present staffing model failed to meet standards and posed a significant risk to firefighters; its current Bluffton station is inadequate in size; the station has 14 pieces of equipment in a firehouse that only has room for eight; and the station is not able to accommodate a gender-diverse staff.
The two new potential stations would be placed in the areas of 200 North and 200 South. With one station north of town and the other south, an official says the department would no longer be stopped by trains. He adds that no matter where a fire would be called out in the city, both stations would respond.