IRONWOOD — Ironwood’s firefighters joined forces to create the new Ironwood Fire Division Tuesday.
The organizational change fused together the Ironwood Public Safety Department’s firefighting efforts and the Ironwood Volunteer Fire Department into one entity, said Ironwood Public Safety Fire Officer Brandon Snyder.
Firefighters are anticipating a better command structure, and more accountability on the fire scene, said Snyder,
Ken Jacobson, Ironwood Volunteer Fire Department chief since 1991, said it’s basically worked this way for a long time.
“Ironwood has the best of both worlds with the full time staff and the volunteers,” said Jacobson. “It’s cost effective for the city because the volunteers receive the same fire training and certification.”
Snyder has seen improvement in the past two years as the departments have worked together, resulting in response times of about three to four minutes.
Jacobson has seen five Public Safety directors. He said he is encouraged that IPSD Director Andrew DiGiorgio comes from a firefighting background.
Jacobson said there’s still work to do. “It will take time to integrate the changes.”
Jacobson added the goal of the department remains the same since it’s founding in 1887:
“To save lives and put out fires.”
There are 12 full-time members of the Ironwood Fire Division, all members of the IPSD, and 17 volunteer members.