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Fire department looking for $1.5 million to hire more and keep ISO rating

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – The city of Jonesboro is looking into giving additional funds to the fire department to help expand the fleet.

The Jonesboro Fire Department is requesting $1.5 million from the city to hire 12 more firefighters which Chief Marty Hamrick said is a necessity.

“ISO says we need 17 people that is why we show up and we have 3 engines and two ladders, and we have all this equipment coming in because we are trying to bring enough personnel. Currently, we are able to put 13 people on the scene of a structure fire,” Hamrick said.

Hamrick said they are 4 people short when they respond and that is because they can’t afford to hire more.

An ISO rating determines how well the fire department can protect your community and home. Insurance companies use the score to help set home insurance rates so the lower the score the lower the amount you pay.

In 2025 the department’s ISO rating will be reassessed and Hamrick said he wants to make their number does not change.

“The personnel we get on a fire ground is one of the biggest deficits we had, we were not even getting half the points possible because we just weren’t putting enough people on the fire ground,” Hamrick said.

Hamrick added in 2025 they are going to start looking at the future of the department and where they would want to add more stations.

“You know with the population growth especially out in the Valley View area in the southwest and even in the northeast corner of the city those are two areas we are really going to have to look at eventually,” Hamrick said.

It will be up to the city council to decide whether or not the department will receive the funding.

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