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Carthage Proposal Seeks to Ease Firefighter Hiring Requirement - KOAM TV 7

Carthage Proposal Seeks to Ease Firefighter Hiring Requirement

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CARTHAGE, MISSOURI -

Plans are progressing for a new fire station in Carthage, along with three additional firefighter positions.  But right now, the Carthage Fire Department is short-staffed by two emergency workers, and not long ago that number was five.

But there's a plan to attract more hires.

The CFD is looking at a new key.

"You say simple, I think that's the key to all of this," says Carthage Fire Chief Roger Williams.

Right now, Carthage firefighters have to live within the Carthage Fire Protection District; 165 square miles of it, with a challenge, in this case.

"A lot of my district is rural," says Williams.

Williams want to open that requirement to living within 15 miles of the Carthage fire station.

"If you have someone who has already established a home, maybe has kids, has kids going to school in another community, it's just tough for them to say, well I'll just pack up everything and I'll move and try to find a place to live in my (Williams') district," says Williams.

The new living requirement would include portions of Joplin, Carl Junction, and Webb City.  Firefighters at home are called to help coworkers during emergencies.

"That's giving us a time span that's reasonable that they can get to here (fire station) and get to the scene," says Williams.

An old rule at the Carthage Police Department required everyone to live close to the department.  But now, the PD has some officers living outside City limits.

CPD has officers from "Webb City, South Joplin, which used to be out of range.  The western limits of Carl Junction, which used to be out of range.  So it has helped us," says Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan.

Police and firefighters.  The Maple Leaf City may not always be protected by Carthage natives, but the goal is to make sure there will always be protection.

Firefighters would have to live within 15 miles of Carthage's main fire station, after its other fire station is built.  This proposal will go before City Council.  

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