EMS calls have more than tripled since the Pocatello Fire Department took over these operations back in 1978 and that is why they are at capacity. Thursday, the Pocatello Fire Department will be making case to the City Council to hire three new firefighters.
Whether it’s a car accident or a heart attack, when an ambulance is called out, a fire engine usually comes too. There are many strategic reasons why 70 percent of all EMS calls have multiple units dispatched to the scene.
With a call volume of over 6,000 calls a year, the Pocatello Fire Department has reached its capacity and that’s why they are looking to add a new member to each of their three platoons.
“Pretty much it’s because our fire capability has been eroding our capacity for fire and we have fires,” said Chief David Gates. “I mean fires are always going to be there. We continue to do things like prevention that will prevent them but we’ll always have fires and we have to have a capacity capable of safely and effectively putting a fire out. The high EMS calls are eroding that capacity and we need to be working towards that expanding that capacity back to a capability of safe and effective fire operations.”
Chief Gates will make the pitch during Thursday’s city council work session and he believes the new hires will actually save the city money while making it safer for all of us.
“This first round of hiring is actually going to be done at a reduction in overtime and so these additional people should be able to cover what used to be covered in overtime and it should achieve an actual cost savings to the city over the course of next year,” said Gates.
The City Council’s Work Session is scheduled to take place Thursday morning at 9:00 AM.