HUBBARD, Ohio (WYTV) – One of the issues on the March 17 primary ballot in Trumbull County is a new fire levy. It covers both Hubbard city and township but Tuesday night, the focus was on the city.
The Eagle Joint Fire District presented its case for why a new levy is critical for the department.
Chief Ron Stanish said it’s a change that’s long overdue and vital for keeping the Hubbard community protected.
Currently, the Eagle Joint Fire District is a volunteer service providing protection for the City of Hubbard and Hubbard Township.
Stanish said because it’s a volunteer department, he is running into problems with consistent staffing.
“It’s not only a local but it’s a national crisis. Nobody responds anymore. Nobody wants to do the job, nobody has the time.”
According to Stanish, the department has also seen an increase in work.
“When I first started, we answered 120 calls a year on average,” he said. “Today, we’re answering over 500 and that’s basically all fire calls.”
The department’s solution is to hire three paid, part-time firefighters to help the volunteer staff. Those firefighters would be paid for through the passage of a new levy on the March ballot.
“It will roughly generate $320,000 a year for part-time staffing Monday through Friday, 8 to 6,” Stanish said.
He said the new firefighters will be critical to maintaining their service and keeping Hubbard safe as more of their volunteer staff retires or moves on to different things.
“In a few years, you’ll be lucky if you have somebody answer a call. It’s very critical that we get this levy passed.”
Stanish knows the levy might be difficult to pass, especially because it’s on the same ballot as a renewal levy for Hubbard Schools. He said all he can do is state his case and hope the voters see things his way.