Fire District Pushes to Add One More Firefighter to Truck

The San Miguel Fire Chief says there needs to be another firefighter on board their fire truck, citing safety as his main concern.

Darrin Howell presented a report to the San Miguel Fire District’s Board of Directors earlier this week.

Most truck companies surrounding San Miguel have four firefighters on each truck for safety and efficiency.

There are several fire engines and one fire truck that serves the San Miguel community. The fire truck is bigger, with a ladder and typically has more firefighters called a truck company.

But there are only three firefighters for the truck. Now, Howell is asking the board to consider adding a fourth firefighter.

Howell tells NBC 7 that fire department reports show there is an increase in effectiveness with a four-person truck company. He says it’s also safer for the firefighters and for the community.

“They should care because when you call 911, if your house is on fire, if the truck shows up that fourth body lets that company gain entrance into your house, get on the roof, do whatever they need to do to get to you, to rescue you more timely,” he said.

Fire victims have a better chance of being rescued if there are four firefighters on the truck. It's also causes less damage to the structure because things are done more quickly.

The San Miguel Fire District's Board of Directors is considering the proposal.

NBC 7 talked to the President of the Board of Directors who says she agrees more hands on a truck are better. She said she would like to see five firefighters on the truck, but says the board needs to be responsible with taxpayers’ money.

The board heard this issue this week and deferred it to the finance committee. The committee will consider two different models, weigh the benefits and see if there is money for a fourth firefighter.

The San Miguel Fire Chief hopes that the board will ultimately support adding a firefighter. He explains it's an issue the whole community should be keeping an eye on.

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