City of Goose Creek fire department dealing with manpower shortage

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina's eighth largest city is trying to deal with a manpower shortage in their fire department.

The City of Goose Creek Fire Department is down nine firefighter/paramedics.

"It's probably the most we've been down since I've been the chief," Fire Chief Steve Chapman said Thursday.

City officials say they desperately need to fill those positions for a fire department that runs about 7,000 calls a year for a population of about 44,000.

Chapman says his department like so many others is having a hard time competing for firefighters.

"We compete with bigger municipalities, counties, the private sector. There's a lot of great paying jobs in the Charleston area," Chapman said.

Chapman says the shortage is not affecting response time, but until the jobs are filled he's using part timers and asking some full timers to work overtime.

"I think it makes it a little more difficult on all of us. We try to collectively work together, pickup overtime shifts.," firefighter/paramedic Sara Teston said. "You know, the extra money's nice."

"Obviously there are folks that step up and take overtime, so they definitely help out with the staffing and it will be great when we get extra people on duty to fill those slots," firefighter Scott Grooms said.

The fire department will hold a job fair next Tuesday, March 27 at fire department headquarters at 201 Button Hall Avenue.

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