Miles City Fire roasted over proposed center
Posted by J.mug (+18) one year ago
It is great that The Cremers, and Piersons took the time to share their opinions. Not only is the location not ideal but where are Miles City Fires money priorities at? It was less than 4 months ago that The Star wrote an article (see below)about Miles City Fire's equipment being out of date and funds not available to fix any of it. I remember being concerned about how an old ambulance might break down on the way to save me from a heart attack, if such were to happen. How can a training center be built if the equipment being used to train with is not in in good working order? Is the city's money priorities a little backwards here? Why would a long term interest loan not be taken out to update the fire truck & ambulance fleet?

Published: Wed, 05/10/2017 - 2:13pm | Section: Abe Winter Top Local News
By Abe Winter
Want someone to run a quick meeting?
If so, call Susanne Galbraith, a Ward 1 council member who sat in for the absent Mayor John Hollowell and ran Tuesday’s Miles City Council meeting at City Hall.
Galbraith called the meeting to order and 27 minutes later it was adjourned. Yes, less than half an hour to go through the agenda.
The item that attracted the most discussion was the possibility of a training center for the fire department. The possible site is close to residents on Lynam Street and two couples -- Craig and Dannette Cremer, and Ron and Jean Pierson -- spoke out against the location for the training center.
“We really oppose that, putting it in our neighborhood,” Craig Cremer said.
“We don’t want it in our neighborhood,” Ron Pierson said.
Cremer added: “We aren’t against the training center, but somewhere else would be a good spot.”
They cited too much smoke, increased noise and the possibility of their home values decreasing as reasons for their opposition. Pierson said his home already gets hit with water during tests.

Fire Chief Gary Warren didn’t respond to the Lynam Street residents, but after the short meeting he said the department checked out another site.

“We looked at a different location, but it was cost-prohibitive,” Warren said. “We just couldn’t do it.”
No final decision has been made on the training center site.
“We aren’t that far into it,” he said. “It just comes down to cost.”
Chief Warren also provided an update through April 30 for service calls to Miles City Fire and Rescue..
There were 459 calls for the first four months of 2017, including 118 in April. The past month’s breakdown is seven for county EMS, 91 for city EMS and 20 for city fire and non-EMS service calls.
It also was noted that terms expire Dec. 31, 2017 for City Judge Al Homme and council members Ken Gardner (Ward 1), Rick Huber (2), Brant Kassner (3) and Dwayne Andrews (4).

City's fire truck and ambulance fleet is showing its age

Published: Tue, 01/03/2017 - 3:17pm | Section: By Elaine Forman Top Local News
By By Elaine Forman
Age and wear and tear have not been kind to the vehicles in the Miles City Fire and Rescue department.
“The budget is always a concern,” Fire Chief Gary Warren said. “Our vehicles are wearing out and we just don’t have the funds to replace them.”
Mayor John Hollowell said the city is aware of and concerned about the problem.
Warren has put together a plan to upgrade the fleet but there is not enough money in the budget.
With the ambulances being of highest concern, Warren explained the problems.
The 1993 ambulance is out-of-service and is the only four-wheel drive ambulance the department has.
The 1997 ambulance needs extensive repairs and has a hole in the floor.
The 2004 ambulance got a new motor about a year ago and is always requiring repairs. It has logged more than 200,000 miles.
The 2011 ambulance is the newest and is “in pretty good shape,” Warren said. But, because they rely on it so much, it gets a lot of wear.

Last year the department answered 1,063 ambulance calls. With that number of calls it would be ideal to have three reliable ambulances and at least one of them a four-wheel drive, Warren said.
For fire trucks, the department owns:
— a 2000 pumper which is in the repair shop with front-end problems and getting new tires.
— a 1990 pumper engine is held in reserve.
— a 1993 ladder truck is “in pretty good shape” needing only minor repairs, Warren said.
The water tender built in 1983 needs “quite a bit of repair,” Warren said. Its water tank leaks and there’s not enough metal to weld, Warren said, describing it as “a patch on a patch.”
— a 2001 brush truck that is used to fight wildland fires is out for extensive repairs on the front suspension and the steering.
— a 2007 rescue truck and a 2004 Ford Explorer are in good shape.
— a 1995 pickup is used for general purposes and needs “quite a bit of repair.”
“Unless revenues drastically change, it’ll be the same and we’ll have to make due with what we have,” Warren said.
Fire and Rescue Lt. Erick Hartse said in 2015 all the fire apparatus failed the pump pressure tests through the National Fire Protection Association, due to lack of maintenance and parts.
In 2016 repairs enabled three out of four apparatus to pass the pump tests.
Meanwhile the department is constantly upgrading its training to provide a higher level of service.
The local Insurance Service Office rating has recently dropped to a four with one being the best.
For a community this size it is good to have a three or four, Warren said, noting he is hoping to get to a three or two.
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