Ottumwa city council approves hiring first responders

Ottumwa Fire Chief Tony Miller sits in on the council meeting September 19th (Chris Arbino/KTVO).

Ottumwa police and fire will get their new employees after all.

City council voted 4-1 to fill a budgeted police officer position as well as adding another police officer.

Councilmen Bob Meyers was the lone no vote on that issue.

The vote was unanimous to hire three new firefighters.

The three firefighters will be hired all at the same time, rather than being hired in stages as the city staff recommended.

Fire chief Tony Miller was against hiring in stages because it would keep his crews uneven.

Miller said his hiring process will start immediately, as he generally keeps a list of about 8 prospective employees on his desk.

Overall, Miller was happy with the outcome.

“City leaders have a tough, difficult decision to make. I’m glad they went with public safety, cause like I said we have a (copious) amount of fires. They got our police guys which they need assistance too. I’m pretty happy with the way it came out,” Miller said.

The fire chief said those individuals should begin their training within 30 to 45 days.

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