County now hiring 13 firefightersPublished 10:20am Wednesday, September 12, 2012
NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday morning to start advertising effective immediately for 13 firefighter positions to man county firehouses.worst
The 13 positions include six firefighters, six officers and one assistant county fire coordinator, and are meant to staff the Foster Mound Volunteer Fire Department and the Kingston Volunteer Fire Department with one driver-operator and one firefighter each round-the-clock.
The move is in response to the apparent stalemate about fire protection funding between the county and the City of Natchez, which since the mid-1990s have had an agreement in which the Natchez Fire Department would respond to fires in the county and direct any volunteer firefighters on the scene.
The city had asked for a $132,000 increase in funding for the coming year, then dropped the request to a $50,000 increase with the provision that the city would respond only to structure fires in the county. Tuesday, the Natchez aldermen voted to extend an offer to accept the county’s current level of funding — approximately $576,000 — with an understanding that the NFD would only respond to structure fires in the county.
The supervisors then asked if the city would grant a two-month, $48,000 extension to the contract until a county fire program could be started, city officials apparently balked at the suggestion but took no official action.
Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said Wednesday morning the supervisors’ decision to advertise for the positions was the county’s decision to swim when presented with a sink or swim dilemma.
Adams County Fire Coordinator Stan Owens presented the supervisors with a county fire protection program earlier this week from which they are working for the advertisement of positions.
For full coverage, read Thursday’s print and online editions.