Truro to Vote on First Full-Time Fire Department

KA_Truro_Town Meeting_042616_013TRURO – A full-time fire department, a first in the town’s history, may be a reality for Truro come July.

The initiative would add six full-time jobs to the fire and rescue department, effective July 1st.

Residents will vote on the proposition at the May 10th annual town election next week.

The fire station is currently staffed 24 hours a day, but with per-diem firefighters who are not eligible for benefits.

Truro Fire Chief Timothy Collins said the effort is primarily meant to retain the staff they’ve already spent time and money to train.

“If these young men and women are offered jobs in other departments which offer benefits, we could lose them,” he said. “Our ability to retain or recruit new members due to our older demographic and high housing cost makes it difficult.”

Collins said that summer months bring an influx of people and a corresponding need for fire and rescue services.

He also cited an aging population as a need for consistent departmental coverage. That demographic, he said, also shrinks their hiring pool.

The proposal does come at a cost Collins said he hopes will not be seen as prohibitive: it would require a permanent increase in property taxes.

If passed, it would add about $80 to the real estate bill on properties valued at $500,000.

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