If you have a question for us, feel free to ask! We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about how we are utilizing your tax dollars to provide fire and ems services to the residents of the District.

How are you currently staffed?

  • The station is staffed 24 hours a day and crews work 24 hours on and 48 hours off.
  • There are 2 personnel assigned on each shift, an EMT and a Paramedic. Both personnel are also certified Firefighters in most cases.
  • There are currently 6 full-time employees, 12 part-time employees, 5 volunteers, a part-time Office Manager and a part-time accountant/bookeeper has just been acquired.
  • We will be hiring our 7th full time member, hopefully, within the next 30 days. For the first time in several years we will have the potential to have all three shifts at full staff.

Is there a policy or law that requires any specific number of personnel to man a fire truck for a response?

  • In the past there has never been a policy in place requring a specific number of personnel in place to staff a vehicle. Under the new management, we are currently working on developing a set of policies that will govern the way we manage operations.
  • Staffing levels will always dictate how many personnel we are able to put on a vehicle before it responds to an incident. The goal is to put ourselves in a position to consistently staff each shift with an effective response force (ERF).
  • A consistently staffed ERF provides for a better all around service delivery for the taxpayers as well as a safer working environment for personnel.

If the duty crew is at a fire, who is available to staff the ambulance if it is needed elsewhere?

  • We have a “Mutual Aid Agreement” with Tri-County Ambulance District to send an ambulance to stand by at the scene of any structure fire in our district. This is for any injuries that occur at the fire, but also to cover our district in case of another ambulance call. If they are not available, we request an ambulance from somewhere else.

Why do we use Mutual Aid from other agencies such as Kearney or Lathrop to handle calls in our District?

  • No fire department can safely conduct operations on a structure fire without mutual aid. We call Kearney, Smithville, or Lawson for trained, professional firefighters and Lathrop and Plattsburg for tankers, depending on where the fire is. We also reciprocate that Mutual Aid by responding to fires in those jurisdictions. They are not running our calls but responding to help just as we do for them. We always give more mutual aid than we receive, every month. Liberty, Excelsior Springs, Kearney, even Kansas City need and use Mutual Aid for structure fires or Mass Casualty Incidents.

There used to be dozens of volunteers. What happened to them?

  • Changing times in society has changed the availability of volunteers. Fire organizations all over the country have dealt with the decline of volunteerism for decades. Volunteerism in all areas continues to decline, not only in the fire service. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/american-volunteerism-continues-to-decline-studies find#:~:text=According%20to%20a%20January%20report,the%20lowest%20percentage%20of%20volunteering
  • Many fire departments locally, in the county, state or country are critically short of volunteers. https://www.nvfc.org/is-volunteerism-dying-or-has-your-marketing-flatlined/#:~:text=The%20U.S.%20Fire%20Administration’s%20guide,frame%2C%20indicating%20that%20volunteerism%20in
  • Every community around us continues to struggle with recruitment and retention of volunteers. Plattsburg, Lawson, Lathrop, Polo; If you were to call one of them, it is likely they will tell you the same. Like many fire departments, they must pay personnel to be present in the station and available for calls. It is not unusual for there to only be one or two firefighters available for a fire in most any small rural town across the midwest during the day, and one of them is likely being compensated in some fashion.
  • The days of the True Blue Volunteer Fire Department that many of us grew up remembering in the Kearney, Holt, Plattsburg and Lathrop areas seem to be further and further behind us.

Do you turn volunteers away?

  • The only persons that have been turned away as volunteers under the new management at Holt Community Fire Protection District were persons that were simply not suited for the position for one reason or another.

Why do you have one of the highest tax levies for fire protection districts in the area?

  • One possible reason for why we may have the highest in the county is that we are the only organization that maintains a 24 hour a day staffed station that provides both Fire and EMS Transport capability. While many others maintain a lower mil rate, they provide fire protection only and rely on either NRAD, or TRI-CAD for Ambulance coverage. Which both maintain their own tax levies. For a true comparison you would have to add those organizations and rate paid to the ambulance districts.
  • Only Lawson compares to our organization as they are the only other staffed fire and EMS organization (with a staffed ambulance). They have nearly the same levy we have but with twice the square miles and twice the population, but only about 10% of their district is in Clinton County. 60% is in Ray County, 30% in Clay County and 10% in Clinton County which makes them appear lower.

Why do you have two new ambulances?

  • In providing emergency services, reliability is everything. If we can’t depend on the equipment we use to provide service, we aren’t effective. If we only had one ambulance there would not be one available when the one was being serviced or repaired. Several times in the past, there were times that had both ambulances out at the same time either on different calls or at the same call.

Why did we ask for the bond issue and purchase new equipment in 2016?

  • The old first-out ambulance was 16 years old with 100,000 miles on it. It broke down three times with a critically ill patient in the back and we had to call another ambulance to transport the patient while the ambulance had to be towed in for repairs. The reserve ambulance was 21 years old and in worse condition. The first-out fire engine was also 16 years old and had to be towed into the shop twice from calls. It also failed to pump water at a fire due to a small 16-year-old micro switch in the transmission. The tanker was a poorly converted third-hand army surplus truck that all but two people refused to drive because it was unsafe, and it was completely unreliable.
  • You cannot have 20 or 30-year-old ambulances or fire equipment to protect your community and respond to your emergencies. They must start quickly, be reliable and operate efficiently every time.