KALISPELL — Kalispell fire station 62, located on Old Reserve Drive, is closed until Thursday, July 23 due to lack of staffing.
Kalispell Fire Chief Dave Dedman says the professional firehouse is typically staffed with up to four firefighters.
He explained that due in part to sick leave and injuries, fire station 62 has been unable to remain at full staff. Chief Dedman stressed that none of the sick leave is in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"COVID is a big concern here," he said. "We have seen a lot of sick leave use precautionary for COVID testing and make sure we don't bring COVID to the patients that we see here."
Chief Dedman said that he reached out to several employees with paid overtime to staff fire station 62 but had no luck.
He told MTN News that until proper staffing can be resumed emergency responses will come out of firehouse 61, which is located in downtown Kalispell.
Chief Dedman added that he's not sure if moving the response to downtown will affect response time.
The department is looking to hire qualified candidates but Chief Dedman says that its hiring process has slowed down because of COVID-19.
People who are qualified and interested in applying to work at the Kalispell Fire Department can visit their website for a job application.