Workforce shortage affects local fire departments

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MERRILL, Wis. (WAOW) — Tuesday the Merrill Fire Department posted on Facebook about a country-wide shortage of volunteer firefighters. They say It has impacted their hiring process.

Merrill has 23 full time positions and one part-time administrative assistant.

Fire Chief Josh Klug said only three people applied for their last job posting. However, that doesn’t mean the services the department provides have changed.

“Just so everyone is aware, there is no shortage to the services,” said Chief Klug. “There’s no cuts to the services that we’re providing. We’re still able to provide those services, fully functional. But, it’s shrinking the pool of candidates.”

Klug added his department meets regularly with the volunteer departments near Merrill to discuss the workforce issue.

Curtis Aderholdt

Curtis Aderholdt

A WAOW photo journalist since December 2014.

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