BRADFORD — Bradford residents will be voting on a fire and emergency medical services levy in the Nov. 7 election.
In addition to renewing the old levy, residents will be voting on replacing the old levy with an increase for a 5-mill levy. The previous levy was for 3 mills.
“It’s a renewal, it’s a replacement and additional,” Chief Jan Mottinger of the Bradford Fire Department said. “We’re asking for additional funds.”
The funds are needed to spend on training for volunteers along with paying for part-time firefighter and EMS employees when the department is not able to get volunteers.
“We need the additional funds to do this,” Mottinger said.
Mottinger explained that this is an issue hitting a number of local, small communities, like Covington, Pleasant Hill, and Gettysburg.
“We can’t get the number of volunteers because of required training,” Mottinger said. “The cost of our operations, just like everybody else … has continued to rise.”
The department is asking for help from the community in order for the department to keep providing this service to the village.
“The community has always supported us in the past, and we’re asking for support for the future,” Mottinger said. “It’s something we don’t like to do. We don’t like to ask people to pay more money, but we have no other way out.”
If the levy did not pass, Mottinger said, “In the future, we wouldn’t be able to pay the part time people.”
Local residents would have to rely on emergency services from other areas.
“You just can’t get the volunteers like you used to,” Mottinger said, noting both the required training necessary for volunteers to undergo along with the time commitment people are making. “It’s just asking quite a bit from some people.”
The department began as a volunteer rescue squad in the 1970s.
The department provides emergency medical services Monday through Friday with a part-time staff ready on the weekends. The department is staffed by 38 employees and volunteers.
The department is located at 200 S. Miami Ave. in Bradford.