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Calaveras Consolidated Add Additional Firefighters

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Valley Springs, CA– The leaders of Calaveras County’s largest local fire district have decided to use financial reserves to hire six seasonal firefighters. Calaveras County local fire agencies have been losing low-paid volunteers and interns in record numbers to Cal Fire as the entire state braces for what many say will be a busy fire season. Another reason for the increase in funding is to compete with the salary of federal firefighters who will soon get a pay bump, you can find a story explaining that here.

The money that will be used for the new hires will be coming from a program that has allowed Calaveras Consolidated to rent engines and crews to Cal Fire strike teams fighting fires around the state. Those funds will allow the additional hiring of six seasonal firefighters, an increase from the standard two.  $150,000 in total will be spent through December 2nd and will bring the 24/7 fire staff to four people. District stations in Jenny Lind and Valley springs voted unanimously on June 13th to approve the temporary funding.

The funding and extra staff are not considered to be a long-term sustainable program. Dana Nichols, chairman of the citizen committee behind Measure A, an upcoming initiative that will be on ballots in November, explains how she feels that problem can be addressed. 

“Cal Co isn’t the only fire district losing its trainees, For a long time, our young people have been stepping up to volunteer and provide these lifesaving services. But now with the rising cost of living and job opportunities elsewhere, they simply can’t afford to stay here. Measure A is a way to guarantee adequate fire staffing countywide and to ensure that at least some of our young people can afford to live and work in the community they love.”