Fire resources strained in Warren - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Fire resources strained in Warren

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WARREN, Ohio - Three fires strained resources in the city of Warren Monday evening.

At 3:01 pm Warren fire fighters were called to a fire at Lifetime Muffler and Auto Repair. Just ten minutes later to a five plex at 141 Washington Street, then a 3rd fire at 4:57 pm on Vine Avenue.

Chief Ken Nussle says the department diverted one truck to the second fire, called for mutual aide from a Howland fire station that is just about 2 1/2 miles away, and called out additional personnel.

Chief Nussle told 21 News that fortunately during all three emergencies there were no injuries.

Chief Nussle says he would like more firefighters on staff, but the union contract allows six firefighters to take vacation on the same day. In addition, one fire fighter called off sick, another was not back from leave from Afghanistan, and one took a personal day.

Nussle said, "It's controlled by the collective bargaining agreement and I think any reasonable person is going to use their vacation days if it's permitted."

The chief added that out of the 23 additional fire fighters hired through a federal grant over the past two and a half years, 11 will remain at the end of the month putting manpower at about 64.

Those hired knew their jobs might end when the federal grant money runs out on May 26th and three retirements are expected by the end of next year.

Nussle says 13 people have signed up to take the civil service test to be on a potential hire list.  That test will be given February 1st. 

Nussle said, "We've applied for another grant to try and retain some fire fighters and possibly even get some additional ones."

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