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Montana News

Staff Shortage Leaves Kalispell Fire Department Temporarily Closed

Rear veiw of a fire engine.
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A fire department in north Kalispell is dealing with a staffing shortage resulting in a temporary shutdown. Alocal firefighter union says staffing problems will result in slower response times in emergencies.

Fire station 62 located on Old Reserve Drive in Kalispell is closed from July 21 until July 25.

"Well, anytime that we have, you know, a shortage of manpower, it's a concern. That's our number one tool is the people that we have working," Kalispell Fire Chief Dave Dedman says.

Fire Station 62 is working on filling a couple vacant positions. But Don Thibert, president of International Association of Firefighters Local 547 says that won’t solve the long term problem because the city’s growth is outpacing local funding for firefighting.

Thibert says shutdowns and longer response times could continue until the staffing shortage is resolved.