Listen Live

Firefighter team spay water to fire.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Like so many businesses and organizations around the state, the Bloomington Fire Department is struggling to stay staffed.

Shaun Huttenlocker – a representative of the Bloomington Metropolitan Professional Firefighters Local 586 – told WISH TV that the department is seeing a “mass exodus.”  It seems that the pay in Bloomington is significantly lower than that of nearby cities, so many firefighters are choosing to work where they will earn more money.

The side view of equipment packed neatly inside a fire truck

Source: VR19 / Getty

The average pay in Bloomington is about $15,000 – $20,000 lower than the averages in Carmel and Indianapolis, among other surrounding locations.  While firefighters in Bloomington have received some bonuses this year, they are still only earning about $1,600 more than normal.

Fire Chief Jason Moore acknowledged the problem but emphasized that the community is still in good hands.  He said, “I can guarantee we will be there. We have not missed any calls.”

Moore also made it clear that there are no more raises for current firefighters on the horizon, at least until next year.  As of now, the department is about 20 responders short of being fully staffed.

Firefighter view of a fire

Source: Dennis Laughlin / Getty