Speakers favor full-time firefighters for Columbus Township department

Most of the Columbus Township residents who spoke during a township budget hearing Tuesday were in favor of keeping full-time firefighters.

While Columbus Township Fire & Rescue is staffed by six paid professionals during daytime hours on weekdays, two of the three Columbus Township Advisory Board members — Jimmy Green and Mike Shireman — want to make most or all part-time employees.

Of the 20 people who spoke at the budget hearing at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds, all but two sided with township trustee Ben Jackson in his efforts to keep the full-time day staff the department has maintained for eight years. About 80 people attended the meeting.

However, it’s unclear whether the sentiments expressed by the public will persuade Green or Shireman to change their minds when the trustees take a final vote in two weeks.

“I think they’ve already made up their minds,” said Rodney Ferrenburg, who stepped down as Columbus Township Fire Chief in February.

The vote is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20, in the Family Arts building at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds.
For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.