Fire department may add eight firefighters

The Kingman City Council on Thursday tentatively approved adding eight new firefighters to the city's fire department.

With the council approving about $350,000 to the city budget for salaries and benefits, the Kingman Fire Department is expected to add eight full-time firefighters to its force.

The budget is expected to be finalized by the city council in a June 17 meeting, KFD Chief Chuck Osterman said.

If approved, the eight firefighters would be assigned to KFD's fire stations 2 and 3.

Station 2 is located on Harrison Street off Any Devine Avenue and station 3 is located off Gordon Drive.

One firefighter would be added to each of the three shifts at both stations.

The remaining two firefighters would be used in relief, filling in for firefighters at all four fire stations who go on vacations or take sick leave, Osterman said.

That would mean three firefighters instead of two plus a shift commander would be assigned to a fire engine, Osterman said.

Once the city official approves the budget, the eight firefighters would be hired in about two to three months.

Open testing would be available for any qualified firefighters, Osterman said.

Currently, the department has 27 fire personnel with three shift commanders, six firefighters and 18 engineers.

Nine personnel are on each of the three shifts.

The new positions would boost the number of firefighters from six to 14.

KFD also has 16 volunteer firefighters, Osterman said.

Staffing increased 29 percent from 1994 to last year.

However, the number of calls increased 45 percent in the same time period.

In 1994, there were 2,513 service calls.

In 2001, there were 3,636 calls for service.

Those calls include medical, fire, traffic accidents and other emergency calls.

There were also 584 other calls last year including public education activities and code enforcement inspections.