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FARMINGTON — The Bloomfield Fire Department is planning two open houses this month that will allow people a chance to learn about what firefighters do.

The open houses will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 14.

John Mohler, the assistant fire chief, said the City Council wanted the fire department to put together the events to educate the public about the importance of the fire department.

"A lot of people may think we sit around and wait for fires," Mohler said.

He said the open houses will teach people about the other services provided by the fire department, including technical rescue and emergency medical services.

The open houses come in light of a proposed tax increase to help pay for full-time firefighter salaries. The salaries of seven of the city 12 full-time firefighters have previously been paid through a grant. Residents will have a chance to vote on the tax in August, and the county clerk will be at the open houses registering people to vote.

The department has also seen a decrease in volunteers. Mohler said the department currently has the fewest volunteers it has had since the 1990s.

Because of the low number of volunteers, the fire department will also recruit volunteers during the open house.

While the events are aimed at educating the public, there will also be events for children, including a bounce house.

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