The Albion Fire Department is urging the city council to let them be volunteers.
The department is in negotiation with the town to change its relationship. Currently, the city views the firefighters as part-time employees. A spokesperson for the department said they want to return to a different arrangement, reaffirming the positions as volunteers.
This is not an uncommon arrangement in Indiana. Several departments across the state, including the Aboite Township Volunteer Fire Department in Fort Wayne, operate under this system.The spokesperson said under this system, the town would maintain control of the fire apparatus and the building while the firefighters would maintain autonomy over their affairs.
The department recently sent a letter to the community explaining the issue and informing business owner of the situation. In the letter, the department said there was a possibility some members of the department would be more willing to retire rather than continue under the current part-time employee status.
Members of the department met with representatives of the town on February 9 to start negotiations. The discussions will continue on February 13.