Photo by Samantha Bengtson
After the July 2 swearing-in ceremony, Greenfield’s fire personnel and their families celebrated the new direction of the fire department.
GREENFIELD — Greenfield Fire Department was officially brought into the City of Greenfield as part of its city services on July 2.
Before joining the City as of July 1, the Greenfield fire personnel were part of the Greenfield Fire Protection District for about 70 years. The Fire Protection District was based on property taxes, which was difficult to maintain in the city.
"Fortunately, the City and Fire District got the idea that maybe we could come over and be part of the City," said Interim Fire Chief Jeff Terpstra. "Most cities do have a fire department as part of their public safety services."
During a special election last May, Greenfield residents voted in favor of Measure C, which provides a sustainable source of funding for the fire department.
"Now the city's fire department can grow with the service demand," Terpstra said. "We're anticipating that the City of Greenfield is going to grow incredibly over the next few years and we want to be in a position with stability so we can provide those services."
On a normal day, on duty will be a full-time fire captain, full-time fire engineer and a part-time firefighter, which rotates within the 15 people sworn in July 2.
Fire Engineer Carlos Vega has been with the department for 10 years and started as a volunteer. He became full time in 2014.
"I got into the fire service because my brother was actually a volunteer. He's a captain now," Vega said. "I started to volunteer part time, and then I started liking it and taking classes."
Vega grew up in the community since the 1990s. His younger brother David just finished the Fire Academy and is a firefighter.
"We're a very busy department, and we get a lot of respect from other places," Vega said. "People see that we are hard workers and know what we're doing."