The Rigby Central Fire District station is making the move toward implementing living quarters into the department as the county continues to grow.
According to Chief Carl Anderson, they are in the preliminary stages as an architect has presented possible plans for the area. Engineers have also started researching what it would take to run water to the upstairs area.
“We’re looking at the costs and feasibility to remodel and build out that upstairs area,” Anderson said. “We can see the need arising in the future to have people at the station during the busiest hours.”
As Jefferson County continues to grow, the almost purely volunteer station is researching different options to have fire fighters more readily available during peak call hours.
Currently, volunteers agree to be in the vicinity of their department if they’re on schedule and are compensated solely for the calls they respond to.
One avenue would be almost an extended version of the current operations, but volunteers would receive a payment for being on call in addition to the hourly wage paid when responding.
“It would be something like the volunteer receives $20 for being on call for their assigned shift, either at the station or within a few minutes of it, and then they would also be paid for the calls they respond to,” Anderson explained.
Another option would be to hire part-time fire fighters.
“We’re looking into all the possibilities right now,” Anderson said. “We’re not decided but we’re looking at the labor laws and what our options are.”
Anderson said they are not currently not anticipating going to a full-time station, but with the possibility of having people around the station more often, they would like to start work on the living quarters in this calendar year, which ends in September 2020.
The Central Fire District has four departments located in Rigby, Ririe, Lewisville and Menan.
The district has three full-time fire fighters, Chief Anderson, Assistant Chief Nic White and Logistic Officer Jared Giannini, and about 80 part-time volunteers that live in the service areas.