Caraway in need of fire chief to keep department running

CARAWAY, AR (KAIT) - The city of Caraway is in desperate need of a fire chief, and officials are going to great lengths to get one.

Caraway Mayor Berry Riley said the city is having a tough time filling the position of the former volunteer fire chief who retired months ago.

Riley came up with a proposed plan to make the fire chief position a paid one. He said it would be minimal pay though.

He put the proposed paid position in the 2018 budget plan. Now it is up to the city council to decide on it.

Volunteer firefighter, Chris Kelems, said it is crucial they fill the spot.

After years of hard work, the small town received a lower ISO rating. Kelems said they went from a 6 to a 4, something the entire community became proud of achieving.

But, without a chief, that rating is on the line among other things.

"We've got to have a chief," Kelems said. "We've got to. Someone has to step up.  You go from a six to a four your insurance rates drop. So, that means a lot to this community and the people in the community."

The town's need for a chief goes beyond keeping the ISO rating. Kelems said they need a fire chief to continue getting federal money.

"It's what this department needs," Kelems said. "If it takes the mayor getting it to be a paid position, then, that would definitely be worth it to the community."

The department currently has an interim fire chief. For more information about the open position, contact Caraway City Hall at (870) 482-3716.

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