KALISPELL - Kalispell residents were asked Tuesday to repeal the voter initiative approved back in 1981 which mandates that Kalispell city firefighters must reside within three air miles of the city or reside where they can report to the fire station within 15 minutes of a fire call.
Voters approved repealing the requirement by a 56%-to-44% margin.
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“But now it's very outdated.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,” Kalispell Fire Chief Dan Pearce previously told MTN News.