Ohio FD: City impeding our $625K grant due to staffing

By FireRescue1 Staff

NORWOOD, Ohio — A fire department fears they will lose their grant due to staff compliance because the city will not allow them to hire the needed number of firefighters.

WLWT reported that in order for the Norwood Fire Department to stay in compliance to keep their SAFER grant, they must hire four more firefighters by Friday.

However, the city notified the fire union that they will not be allowed to hire anyone else.

"We're short four people in order to comply with that grant. So the federal government stopped giving us money for that grant. They put about $625,000 in an account that they're holding back," Norwood Local 445 Union President Bobby Schlacter said.

The department fell short of the minimum staff number after several firefighters retired and one resigned.

"I understand the city's position, it's about finances. But here's a situation where you've got the opportunity to have these people paid for," Fire Chief Ron Wallace said.

City officials said they won’t be able to pay for the extra firefighters once the grant money is gone.

"It's very hard to swallow right now, them saying they don't have the money, but they're turning away all this money," Chief Schlacter said.

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