Colonial Heights Fire Department expanding for first time in decade

Colonial Heights Fire Department expanding staffing for the first time in a decade

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WWBT) - For the first time in a decade, the Colonial Heights Fire Department will be adding new positions to keep residents safe. The city is now looking to hire half a dozen new firefighters. It’s been a years-long battle to create more positions, but city funds did not allow it, until now.

"I like to be the one who’s there when someone needs my help,” 22-year-old Luke Kissner said.

He grew up around firefighters. In fact, his dad is one.

“I've always had a want to do it and I still enjoy it,” he said.

Kissner one of the most recent recruits at the Colonial Heights Fire Department, but for at least 10 years the department has been working with the same number of firefighters.

"We've had an increase in call volume,” Fire Chief A.G. Moore said.

He has been trying to add more positions for years now but couldn’t due to funds. Now that’s changing thanks to a nearly $800,000 grant FEMA just awarded to Colonial Heights. The city applied for it in the past with no luck, but this time, they got it.

Officials say the expansion is important due to the growing calls for medical services, it takes away from resources to solely focus on fires.

"In the next hour, we get 3 EMS calls back to back, you may only get one staffed engine company coming to your house,” Moore said.

In the spring when the new firefighters are brought on, there will always be at least two fully staffed fire trucks with three first responders inside ready to serve you.

"We’re doubling the size of our engine companies around the clock,” Moore explained.

Applications are now open but close on Friday. Anyone wishing to apply can do so, HERE.

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