The Port Jervis Fire Department is reorganizing its companies due to lack of volunteers and will be dissolving Fowler’s Rescue & Salvage Company No. 3 because of low membership and in order to meet staffing needs in other companies.
The Fire Department said in a press release that membership in the company was so low there were times they could not respond to a call.
“Realistically, there were more members in other companies properly trained to perform with the equipment situated in the Rescue Company than the Rescue Company membership itself was able to provide,” the Fire Department said in a press release.
Fowler’s Rescue & Salvage members will be moved to others companies along with their gear and apparatus. They will be incorporated into the department’s Special Operations Squad, which is a department-wide force comprised of the Accident Victim Extrication Team (AVET), the Water Operations Team (Water Ops.), and the Technical Rope Rescue Team (Rope Rescue).
Each segment will have a leader but will operate as one unit, the Fire Department said.
This will also help the other companies whose numbers have been dwindling over the years.
The Fire Department is currently at about 60 percent of its capacity, and of those only about 30 percent are active, the Fire Department said.
“We are not at a staffing crisis level, but we did need to rethink how we approach serving our citizens,” it said.
The Port Jervis Common Council approved the change in a Sept. 12 resolution and it was immediately put into effect, the Fire Department said.
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