LIBERTY TWP., Ohio (WKBN) — For 12 hours on Monday, Liberty Township’s Fire Station 34, located on Belmont Avenue, was closed.
“Today we are understaffed as far as being able to operate the two EMS units,” said Chief Douglas Theobald.
A sign on the fire station door says “Station closed.” Theobald said it’s all due to low staffing and the station will be closed until 7 p.m. Monday night.
He said the closure was due to a number of reasons. Currently, two of the department’s 15 full-time employees are out due to sickness or injury, and another recently resigned.
Meanwhile, the department’s part-time employees are limited to working 36 hours per week. Those employees also often have limited availability because of full-time employment elsewhere or they’re attending classes.
“This is just one of those days when all of those factors came together and closed the Belmont station for 12 hours,” said Theobald.
Theobald said the department strives to keep two ambulances in service full time but between the amount of training required to do the job, and people leaving for better opportunities elsewhere, Liberty isn’t the only one dealing with staffing issues.
“Speaking with the other chiefs around us, we’re all facing the same struggles. We’re all competing for the same folks and the ones that we get they’ll even leave the state to take full-time employment,” said Theobald.
The station will reopen at 7 p.m. when a part-time employee reports for duty and a full-time employee works overtime.