SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – Springfield Township is advertising for firefighters right now. The township is growing and is taking its emergency response in a new direction.

Right now the department is 100% volunteer, but it is making a transition to part-time staffing. Township Trustee Josh Wiery said it’s what the township needs.

“Anything that betters my township is exciting for me. If it can help our township to be better at what we do and how we do it, why wouldn’t we be excited about it?” Wiery said.

Having a volunteer department comes with constraints. The shift to staffing will have personnel at the station every day of the year, around the clock. That will enhance service.

“So instead of the volunteer coming from his house, they’ll already be in the station and the response time should be cut tremendously,” said Springfield Fire Chief Matt Gebhardt.

Springfield personnel are paid per call right now. It’s going to switch to hourly pay for workers on duty and those who might need to be called in.

The new fire station was built in 2016 with the future in mind, and now it’s here.

“We have to do something to ease the burden and the workload that is being put on the personnel,” Gebhardt said.

Here’s a look at the township’s calls:

  • 2021 = 1,000
  • 2022 = 1,481
  • 2023 = 397

The calls are expected to eclipse 1,600 in 2023.

Anybody who applies must be an Ohio-certified firefighter 1 and EMT basic.

“All our trustees are in total agreeance that this is the right direction to push forward. We just got to make it right for the township,” Wiery said.

The goal is to start this staffing in April. The township and fire department are making sure everything is ready to embark in this new direction.