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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Fire chief responds to question about fire station use; AMR makes weekly report

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

MOUND CITY – On Monday, July 31, Linn County Commissioners Jason Hightower and Jim Johnson heard the updates on fire and ambulance calls and a report from Fire Chief Randy Hegwald about the use of the fire station buildings. Commission Chair Danny McCullough was absent.

Hegwald noted that he had visited with Johnson the day before when he called him about activity going on at the fire station in Prescott on Saturday. Hegwald said that the firefighters were in and out of the fire stations all the time.

Hegwald said that firefighters have to respond at moment’s notice and leave their families.

The chief told the commissioners that he encouraged firefighters to involve their families with the fire stations and they have family dinners there.

On Saturday, Hegwald said there was a dinner there with their families but they were interrupted by an automobile accident, so the dinner was postponed by more than five hours.

Hegwald explained that part of the healing process is for the firefighters to be able to go back to the station and decompress by talking about what they experienced at their call.

Hegwald said he liked seeing people going in and out of the fire station like it was part of the community. He said he allows firefighters to have birthday parties there because it brings their families into the fire station. There is no alcohol involved.

He said he also allowed other county departments and state agencies to also use the stations to improve communications and response.

Johnson said the reason he called Hegwald was because he had received a message about something going on at the Prescott station. He said he appreciated Hegwald letting them know about the fire stations.

Hegwald said that if any citizens had concerns about the fire stations, they could call him or report it to the sheriff’s office.

Hegwald encouraged people to stop by and talk when firefighters were at the stations. He said he wants the fire department to be out in the community and he wants the community to come to the fire department. He said that firefighters would be happy to give people a tour and also an application to join the fire department.

Hegwald reported that for the past week there were five calls making a total of 261 for the year so far. The calls were one medical assist with EMS, one motor vehicle with injury, one motor vehicle without injury, one heat from a short circuit (wiring) and one smoke detector, no fire and not intentional.

Hegwald said that he really appreciated the sheriff’s department and the ambulance service being out there in case anything happened because of the heat.

American Medical Response (AMR) representative Louis Aloi reported that the past week had been a busy week. There were 31 calls resulting in 16 transports the past week, making the month of July total 65 so far.

Aloi said that AMR really appreciated the support from the sheriff’s office and fire department.

Aloi said that two people had been interviewed for so far for the three vacant positions, and he had his fingers crossed AMR would be able to hire people soon.

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