Granite Shoals hiring part-time firefighters for overnight shifts

JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER

GRANITE SHOALS — The city of Granite Shoals is looking to hire three part-time firefighters to augment its department’s nighttime coverage after a July structure fire forced officials to take a serious look at overnight protection.

During the city council’s regular Oct. 25 meeting, City Manager Ken Nickel outlined the issue and its solution to council members.

Currently, the department has one paid person working the night shift.

“We thought it was critical to hire another person,” Nickel said. “We have one, and we’re wanting a second. It’s always been in the back of minds to have at least two fighters 24 (hours) seven (days a week).”

But a fire during the night shift over July 4 weekend forced city officials to take a closer look at the budget and what it would take to hire certified firefighters on a part-time basis, specifically for that timeframe.

The fire occurred at about 11:30 p.m. July 3. Nickel said the Granite Shoals Fire Department’s volunteers do a stellar job, but at this fire, city leaders realized they had a gap in the number of firefighters able to respond overnight.

“We didn’t have a very good response to it,” Nickel said.

Nickel said Granite Shoals Fire Chief Austin Stanhill is looking for three, part-time firefighters to work from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. on a rotation.

The additional cost of $42,000 will be divided among the three since the positions are part-time. The expenditure is included in the 2016-17 budget.

The fire department also is in need of more volunteers. Fire training and certification for safety purposes are required before an individual is allowed to volunteer, Nickel said.

Volunteers provide an invaluable service to the city, one that isn’t lost on city officials, Nickel said, and one that can’t be measured. Volunteers willingly put themselves on the line to help others in need, which is a feat that isn’t taken for granted, he added.

“I thank them for their service,” he said.

To apply or for more information, go to the fire station, 8410 RR 1431 West.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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