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Columbus Fire Department is asking for more firefighters to cover Charlie Louis Station

Posted at 4:28 PM, Dec 18, 2023

COLUMBUS, Neb (KMTV) — There aren’t many Fire Departments in Nebraska as dynamic as the Columbus Fire Department.

In recent years its hired its first full time chief, built new facilities and has a quickly growing volume of calls for help it responds to.

“We have what’s called overlapping calls or calls that occur as another call is going on. We have seen a steady five year increase in those calls,” said Columbus Fire Chief Ryan Gray.

The increase in overlapping calls has been concerning for Chief Gray but he hopes that already built facilities could offer a solution.

“We recently completed renovations to Charlie Louis, that allows for living quarters for 4 additional personal. Since completing that we have heard a lot of public opinion on wanting that staffed and we want to address that,” said Gray.

Charlie Louis Station, or Station 2, is located in an area that makes it much easier to respond to calls on the south and east side of Columbus but currently the department doesn’t have the staff to cover it.

“By having additional personal at Charlie Louis we can put in service another engine company and another ambulance. So those overlapping calls that might get a delayed response will now be picked up by the other station and vice versa,” said Gray.

Gray will be making his case for new firefighters in front of the city council he isn’t sure of what the outcome will be but he says the great working relationship the department has with the city council has him hopeful that Charlie Louis will get its new first responders.

“I think the one thing in Columbus people should be proud of is the commitment to public safety from our elected officials and city administration. This isn’t able to happen without their support,”said Gray.