Manpower shortage impacting safety services

Ohio News

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Worker shortages are affecting just about every business, and now it is impacting first responders.

The Cardinal Joint Fire District is trying to combat not having enough workers to man their stations.

Just yesterday, Station Number 2 on Herbert Road had to temporarily close from 11 a.m. to 7 a.m. due to what fire officials are calling “hardships with staffing.”

“We had two people off for vacation and then another person called off. That put our level at five, and we checked to see if anyone else was willing to work, just coming off the Canfield Fair, and everybody’s tired,’ said Chief Don Hutchison.

The Cardinal Joint Fire District covers Canfield city and township, which is about a 25 square mile radius, serving roughly 17,000 residents. There are three stations.

To be fully staffed at all three, there would need to be eight firefighter/paramedics on duty, but they can run with six. That would be two at each station.

Hutchison says being a firefighter is very demanding and tough but is also very rewarding in a number of ways.

“After you intervene during an emergency, it’s a terrific feeling. It’s an adrenaline rush and you go home very happy, satisfied,” he said. “Things aren’t always perfect at the fire station, but you know that whenever an emergency happens.”

Fire officials say the manpower shortage is an issue happening across the nation, especially since the start of the pandemic.

Hutchison said he is thankful for the support of the community during these challenging times.

The department is in the process of adding more full-time and part-time employees. If you’d like to apply, stop in at Station Number 2 or call the department at 330-533-4316.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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