Lorain Fire Department highlights staffing shortage with house fire demonstration

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LORAIN, Ohio — The Lorain Fire Department decided to get creative in showing the city why proper staffing is needed.

On Saturday, they held two demonstrations where they battled a house fire.

In the first scenario, there were 14 firefighters on hand and in the second there were 16.

Fire Chief Chris Radman said two people can really make a difference.

“(Having few firefighters) doesn’t necessarily take longer to put the fire out,. It’s longer to find the victims,” he explained.

The fire department currently has 15 firefighters assigned to a daily shift. They want to increase that to 16.

“This is a great group of firefighters,” said Lorain Mayor Joe Koziura. “But, it’s economics too.”

He said his office staff has shrunk too. He said 20 years ago they had eight employees, now there are four.

“We’ve had an economic downturn, and we’re on our way to recovery, so council can appropriate more money for the fire department. But on the other hand, you got to cut somewhere. So, economics is a big part of this too,” he said.

Mayor Koziura said the fire department has lost two officer positions recently, but has not lost any firefighters.

The fire department union is expected to negotiate a new contract next month.

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