Springfield Hires New Firefighter

Position paid for by decrease in overtime.

Springfield’s Fire Department expanded by one this week.

The Department welcomed new fire fighter Jason Ropelski to the department on Wednesday, June 15. The Township was able to afford the hire because of decreased overtime pay. Public safety officials believe the hire will improve emergency response and free up resources in the department.

Previously, Springfield’s Fire Department operated on four tours, with five people on one tour and four on two others. The new hire would allow for three tours staffed with five fire fighters.

Springfield Public Safety Director Richard Rosell told Springfield’s Township Committee members that overtime had dropped this year to 60 percent below his projections.

“It’s clear we’re able to afford this [hire] and then some,” Rosell said.

The larger tours free up resources in the department that were strained by manpower shortages. Most prominently, the department’s fire inspector David Maas will be freed up to perform more inspections.

Speaking with Patch, Rosell said that part of the drop in overtime was due to reprioritizing the calls Springfield fire responds to. Under the new system, the fire department prioritizes fire calls first, then inspections, then emergency medical service calls. Previously, EMS calls were prioritized. Rosell said he changed the order in light of the abilities of Springfield’s First Aid Squad.

“We have a viable ambulance crew here,” Rosell said.

Barry Gallant June 17, 2011 at 07:03 PM
Welcome Jason. The Springfield First Aid Squad values our relationship with the firefighters and looks forward to their continued support. We also appreciate the support of the township and their faith in our capabilities. Our volunteers will always be there to help our community in time of need.
Marc Krauss June 17, 2011 at 07:54 PM
Jason, you are a welcomed assest to a great Fire Department. Excellent work done by Mr. Rosell and Chief Sanford in reducing overtime and special thanks to all of Springfield's Firefighters, keep up the great work.
BART FRAENKEL June 18, 2011 at 09:18 PM
Jason, congratulations. This was a long time in coming and hopefully just the first step toward bringing the FD the additional manpower needed.


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