by Chris Cannon
GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. - A phone call to Goodlettsville residents raised concerns about staffing levels at the city's fire department.
That call came from City Commissioner Zach Young and it told residents there was firefighter shortage, and the city needed to double the number of people on staff at the department.
City Manager Tim Ellis said there is a shortage of staff responding to calls.
"That has been the number of firefighters we've had for at least the last ten years," Ellis explained.
The city currently has an automatic-aid agreement with the Nashville Fire Department. That means both Goodlettsville and Nashville are simultaneously dispatched to call in the satellite city.
Ellis said there was a budget request made by department leaders to double the number of firefighters the city employed, but he said that is a very costly request.
"That would equate to $800,000 plus, and it would equate to approximately a $0.20 property tax increase, so you really just have to balance it," Ellis said.
Deputy Fire Chief Mark Becknal arrived in Goodlettsville 18 months ago and has studied the staffing numbers.
"I went back and I looked over the call volume, they types of calls that we're making, and the standard in the industry. It's a need for the city and its citizens," Becknal said.
The Deputy Chief feels Goodlettsville should start increasing the size of its fire department soon, that is why he made this year's budget request.
"It's something I just thought city leaders needed to know, so we could begin the process of getting this increased staff," Becknal said.
The city does have future plans to open a fire sub-station and would need more staff members to make that possible.