Geneva depends on part-time, full time firefighters

Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – Geneva firefighters and paramedics respond to an average seven calls a day, 2,481 last year and 1,080 so far this year, Deputy Chief Mark Einwich said Monday while giving an overview to the City Council on its paid-on-call program.

The majority of calls, 65 percent, are emergency medical requests, the rest are fire-related, he said.

The department has three chief officers – including Einwich – six career shift lieutenants and four paid-on-call lieutenants, 12 career firefighters, six contract firefighter/paramedics and 28 paid-on-call firefighters, or part-time firefighters paid when they respond to an emergency.

“We are what is known as a combination department, career and paid-on-call part-time personnel,” Einwich said. “Our POC members are part time in name only. We have the complete expectation they are completely interchangeable with our full-time personnel. The emergency doesn’t dictate … whether it’s a career person or a part-time person that responds.”

Einwich said paid-on-call are trained to nearly the same level as a career firefighter, with the only difference being career firefighters must also be trained paramedics.

“They operate all of our equipment, they drive all of our apparatus,” Einwich said. “They are completely integrated into all of our field operations. We very highly depend on them.”

It’s an important distinction because Geneva is “a full service department,”  Einwich said.

“We provide fire rescue [emergency medical service] hazardous materials, technical rescue – which encompasses a specialty rescue type of situation, high angle trench rescue, confined space, building collapse,” he said.