Greg Coburn /

The Hamburg Board of Trustees made changes to the hiring of part-time firefighters.

The Fire service is having trouble recruiting and retaining employees. It is the same problem all over Livingston County’s other stations. Originally, they were authorized to hire 50 part-time firefighters. Now they are looking to hire 30 part-time firefighters. They will recruit fully-trained firefighters with established fire service history.

It will eliminate the cost to train new firefighters which costs $10,000 and it will reduce the time it takes to train which is about two years for a novice. They are also eliminating the residency requirements which will increase the pool to choose from. They used to staff with volunteers and then paid-on-call firefighters which had to reside here to ensure a quick response.

Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police Richard Duffany talks about the changes to recruiting for the firefighter position. Duffany says they are transformed where there are five full-time firefighter positions and they now have both fire stations being manned with scheduled part-timers. They are no longer paid-on-call. In the past, a call would go out to 40 or 50 firefighters and they would hope five or ten would show up.

Now both stations are staffed, station eleven 24/7 and station 12 will soon be staffed 24/7. But it is staffed 18 hours a day now. He then said they don’t need 50 firefighters on call and that’s one benefit of switching to the part-time scheduled shift because it eliminates the cost of the training for the additional 10 or 20 firefighters.