Kingston fire department makes room for two more firefighters

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KINGSTON, Okla. (KXII) - "The need for help," James Kuykendall said.

James Kuykendall is the Kingston fire chief.

He says since he became chief nearly five years ago, they've increased the amount of firefighters in the department.

"We were at 14 when I started as chief," Kuykendall said. "We've moved up a couple so we're adding 2 more and the end goal is to get to 20 firefighters."

Kuykendall says the city recently approved the department to grow from 16 firefighters to 18.

He says they steadily increase the amount working because of the amount of training the firefighters must go through and cost.

"We spend probably about $6,000 per person in gear and equipment for that firefighter to actually get them out and on scene," Kuykendall said.

And Kuykendall says it's all so that the department can better serve their residents.

"Most of us are volunteer and so people working different schedules and different things - it's hard to have availability to people so the more firefighters you have the better availability you have when a call goes out."

He tells us the county's fire chief association is also working on purchasing a new dispatch console for the sheriff's office to use.

The city approved the association can spend up to $5,000 on an upgraded console that will come out of the funds raised from a quarter cent sales tax.

"Consoles that are there are pretty outdated and we're trying to upgrade them because the new consoles will have some more capability that'll work with the new 911 system."



 
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