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Firefighter living restrictions are up for repeal in Kalispell

Kalispell firefighter ballotScreen Shot 2022-06-02 at 3.12.53 PM.png
Posted at 3:32 PM, Jun 02, 2022

KALISPELL - A 40-year-old condition that required Kalispell firefighters to live near the city or fire station may be repealed

The current requirement, adopted in 1981, is that a Kalispell City firefighter must live within three air miles of the city or where they can report to the station within 15 minutes.

The original requirement was adopted to help aid in response time but now, there is a mutual aid agreement with neighboring departments. The mutual aid agreement allows for fire departments across the valley to aid in situations if more firefighters are required.

“But now it's very outdated. And we know with the costs of housing. It really limits our pool of applicants to have those residency requirements. So it's time for it to be updated,” said Kalispell Fire Chief Dan Pearce.

The issue is up for a vote on the ballot for the June 7 election.

Pearce said that the repeal of this requirement would not affect the response time in emergencies and would allow more flexibility for members to live in a place that would be better for their home life and families.