Written by Nikki Newbrough, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
EVANSDALE (KWWL) -
The Evansdale Fire Department heads out to about 600 emergencies a year.
"With that call volume, we were finding ourselves, one in four, maybe one in five calls that we were not able to respond because we didn't have staff," said Kent Smock, Fire Chief.
Instead, Smock says other agencies would have to respond to those calls.
The 25 person volunteer fire department covers Evansdale, Raymond, and Gilbertville. Smock says it's been getting more difficult to find EMTs to staff ambulances.
"Being able to balance between their regular jobs, their family life, and a high volume volunteer on call fire department it made staffing difficult at times," said Smock.
That's why Smock found the need for the city to hire Jenny Sorensen. She is the city's first full-time paramedic.
"It's important for a town this size and a size that has this type of call volume to have that day coverage because emergencies can happen at any time. And this way they're covering their daytime hours as well as their nighttime hours with the volunteer staff," said Sorensen.
Smock says more and more volunteer fire departments are finding this same staffing problem. He's just glad the city has invested time in Sorensen.
Sorensen officially started September 9. She says she is also looking forward to doing community outreach programs, specifically in the schools.
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