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Hoisington Fire Department certified firefighters
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Dear Editor,
I would like to clear up some confusion regarding last weeks story  with the challenges of Hoisington Fire Department not receiving a grant due to lack of certified firefighters. Throughout the year the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program from the Federal Emergency Management Agency accepts grant applications to all fire departments, in which its up to each department to apply for a grant to help with their needs if they wish to do so. Not all departments are granted what they have applied for and some departments do. I have had many citizens of Hoisington and the surrounding townships that we provide fire service to asking why we aren’t certified after reading last weeks article and asking, are we going to be and what does it take. I’ve contacted several fire chiefs in Kansas asking about their number of guys certified firefighter 1. Many volunteer departments have 0 certified. I’ve been told how fortunate Hoisington is to have as many certified as we do. Currently, Hoisington Fire Department is staffed by 17 dedicated firefighters, 10 out of the 17 are Kansas Certified Firefighter 1. We have two attending FF1 class preparing for their state test in the next couple months, and as the next class becomes available we have three more willing to certify. I’m really happy with the dedication these guys are giving, it takes alot of time. They attend class two nights a week for approximately 17 weeks, and also several Saturdays. FF1 is not mandatory in Hoisington, as its not in most volunteer departments, but we do highly encourage it. As many State Certified FF1 firefighters we have along with the upcoming testing of two more and several more pursuing it, and the few that don’t have it but has the many years invested, Hoisington Fire Department is equivalent to 100% certified.
Jerry Stricker
Fire Chief-Hoisington Fire Department