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Posted on: December 26, 2018

Firefighters Train Hard, Record Safe Year

FIrefighter climbs ladder

The Sioux Center Fire Department has responded to more than 105 calls in the past year and recorded an injury-free year.

“Our firefighters have been safe throughout the whole year, cautious of the dangers driving to the scene. We’ve had no accidents or injuries,” said Fire Chief Dave Van Holland. “Our goal is always to send everyone home safe.”

Twenty of the calls the fire department responded to were motor vehicle collisions. Twelve of the calls were building fires, 9 were field/grass fires, 4 were vehicle fires, and 1 was a hazardous materials call.

“Only a handful of calls were for fires in people’s living spaces,” Van Holland said. “We are seeing that homeowners are more aware of the danger of fire and they take safety precautions, especially with space heaters and gas heaters.”

Van Holland noted the community has maintained a strong ISO rating of 3. ISO ratings, also known as Public Protection Classifications, range from 1-10 with 1 being the best. The risk-measuring rating is based on many aspects, ranging from fire department training hours to distances to fire hydrants.

“I want to recognize the City water department for the ways they continue to improve the water system,” he said. “The ISO takes in everything from sizes of water mains to availability of water.”

He also credited the local businesses who install sprinkler systems and have them inspected every year. Fire fighter training of the department’s 39 firefighters also factors into the ISO rating.

“As volunteers, with no financial reimbursement for the hours of training and the amount of hours it takes, it says a lot for our personnel,” Van Holland said. “We also give a big thank you to businesses that allow firefighters to leave work to respond to calls. There are a lot of different entities, so that’s fantastic. These businesses are really at the foundation of us being able to have a strong department.”

The Sioux Center Fire Department is open to new volunteers. Those interested can stop at the City Office and fill out an application.

Photo: A Sioux Center firefighter climbs a ladder in a department training exercise.

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