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Altoona Fire Department to hire two full-time Firefighter/EMS staff

Monday, December 21, 2020
Phoebe Murray | WEAU

A grant awarding upwards of $500,000 over the span of three years will allow the station to hire two additional full-time staff members.

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - A grant awarded to the Altoona Fire Department will allow the station to hire some much needed help.

The three-year nearly $600,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, will go towards the hiring of two additional full-time firefighter and EMS staff.

Altoona Fire Chief Mark Renderman says the station fields anywhere from 1,000-1,1000 calls each year, EMS workers and firefighters responding to emergency calls around the clock.

"This will be a huge help to our department, to ensure that we're able to have staffing available to respond to the community will allow us not to overextend our part-time staff because all of our staff are part-time with the exception of myself," Renderman says.

he Altoona Fire Department had applied for the grant even before the stressors of COVID-19 impacted them back in march, Renderman says the aid is necessary now more than ever.

"We weren't aware of that at the time of the pandemic, we may have asked for more staffing had we known that was going to take place," Renderman jokes.

Renderman says the need stems from recent community growth and an influx in emergency call volume.

The hope is to have the new hires join the station by February 1.

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