Springfield Fire Hires Will Cost

Last year the Insurance Service Office threatened to drop the city of Springfield to the lowest possible fire rating, unless city officials made some major improvements.

So the commission agreed to levy property owners an $88 per parcel fire assessment fee. The money is going to hire additional personnel.

"We added the 6 firefighters, we have not started the fire assessment fee yet, so we are going to be stretched with money," said Mayor Ralph Hammond.

The commissioners also voted 5-1 to promote assistant fire chief Michael Laramore to the vacant fire chief position. However, commissioner Tally questions his qualifications.

"Most, 99% of cities do not accept experience when it comes to a fire chief. Most cities want a minimum of a bachelors of a masters degree, all i was asking for is at least an associates," said Tally.

Laramore assured the commission he, the current staff and the new hires are ready to get the fire department where it needs to be.

"We have basic training, we start off with the basics and we move up. I mean look at me, I've gotten a certain class in my degree, but i have 4 or 5 more I need to get. I've got my basics and now i have to move forward, and that's what we are doing with the new guys," said Laramore.

Without the additional firefighters, residents risked increased insurance rates, or the city losing it's insurance all together.