Clive and Windsor Heights fire department merger in talks

By Kattey Ortiz |

Published 10/09 2015 01:36AM

Updated 10/09 2015 01:36AM

CLIVE - Two fire departments facing staff shortages are looking at joining forces to better serve the communities.

Clive and Windsor Heights are exploring the idea of merging their full-time and paid on-call staffing to serve both cities 24/7.

"There's been on-call members, part-time members and full-time members that responded," said Windsor Heights Chief of Police and Fire Dennis McDaniel, "but over a period of time there's been challenges with the staffing model, especially with the overnight hours."

Clive Fire Chief Rick Roe said his department is understaffed almost 30% of the time. He added one of the main reasons why he can't afford to hire more workers is because of the Affordable Care Act when it enacted last year.

"Once the Affordable Health Care Act impacted us, we had to limit (the part-timers) to two shifts a week. We had to tell them to cut back because we were going to be required to provide benefits which at that point, is the same expense as hiring a full-time employee," he said.

The merger would mean one station for both towns, faster response times and savings for taxpayers.

Windsor Heights is also looking at a proposal that would allow them to operate independently with a full staff.

The City of Clive is hosting a public meeting and presentation of the proposal on Monday, October 19 from 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the Dymond Public Safety Center, located at 8505 Harbach Blvd.

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