Growing Altoona looking to hire fire chief, two other department heads

  • Source: Eau Claire Leader-Telegram
  • Published: 10/13/2016 02:28 AM

Altoona police and fire Chief Jesse James says the city needs to hire a full-time fire chief to meet the growing city’s demands. Fire and emergency medical services calls are up nearly 30 percent and police calls up about 7 percent compared with last year, James said Wednesday. “What it comes down to is the city needs to think progressively, to be more proactive than reactive with the growth we’re experiencing in the amount of fire, EMS and police calls,” he said. Altoona’s preliminary budget for 2017 calls for the city to add a fire chief position as well as two other management positions to oversee public works and parks. James currently splits his duties, serving 80 percent as police chief, 15 percent as fire chief and 5 percent on EMS. He’s quick to point out that with various night meetings in addition to a regular schedule and emergency calls, his workload currently puts him at about seven to 10 extra weeks a year.


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