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Bozeman Fire Department preparing for city's future after busy 2 - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman Fire Department preparing for city's future after busy 2017

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BOZEMAN - At Monday night's city commission meeting, the Bozeman Fire Department presented its 2017 Annual Report.

The report stated they spent 12,715 hours in training, which is equivalent to 326 per employee in 2017 -- a 63% increase in the training hours logged from 2016.

Fire Chief Joshua Waldo said the Fire Department needed to increase the amount of training because of the growing number of incident reports. He said the department received a total of 4,696 calls to 911, a 9% increase from 2016. The national average increase is 7%.

That didn’t stop the Bozeman Fire Department from receiving high rankings. The Insurance Service Office evaluated the station this year, improving it from a class 3 to a class 2. Only 3% of stations around the nation have received a Class 2 ranking or above.

"It is a huge draw. It allows us to be attractive to businesses to come into a community that is not only safe but has the ability to get lower interest premiums,” said Waldo.

As Waldo continued to address the commission, not all of his remarks were positive. He heavily believes that changes need to be made including getting rid of the outdated paging system, working towards accreditation, and moving into a $37.4 million joint facility with Bozeman police and courts.

"The station needs work, let's just be quite honest. That is why we are talking about a Bozeman Public Safety Facility. I would start by telling you that the biggest thing that affects us day to day, we are out of space,” said Waldo.

Whether or not police, fire, and courts will be housed under one roof will be decided by voters as they head to the polls on November 6.

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