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Williston Fire will aid Bronson Fire with manpower

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck

Just a few weeks ago, the town of Bronson was on the cusp of ceding its fire department over to Levy County.

Previously, under former Fire Chief Jeff DiMaggio, Bronson council members were told the fire department couldn’t meet coverage requirements.

DiMaggio had presented the council with several plans on how to merge with the county’s fire department, but council members were not too keen on the idea.

A couple weeks ago the Bronson Council agreed to allow interim Fire Chief Dennis Russell a chance to get the department back in line.

Part of that includes manning the Bronson Fire Statiion 24/7 and firefighters aren’t always available.

That’s when Williston Fire Department agreed to help a neighbor out.

Under the terms of a one-year interlocal agreement, that passed unanimously Tuesday night, whenever Bronson is lacking someone to cover its fire station, Jimmy Willis Jr. will be notified.

Willis maintains the Williston firefighters’ schedules, Fire Chief Lamar Stegall told Williston council, and he can find the help our neighbor to the west needs.

Stegall said most scheduling will be  done with several days, maybe weeks, notice.

In exchange, the town of Bronson will pay the city of Williston $12 per hour for the firefighter on duty, and in turn Williston will pay the  firefighter.

The $12 hourly rate, Stegall said, will pay not only the hourly rate for the firefighter but also FICA and other expenses.

He assured Williston council that the loan of this firefighter will in no way impact the city’s coverage.

“It’s always Williston first,” he said.