A Flathead fire department is looking to make some changes to its staff.
Last month we told you about some of the problems volunteer fire departments are having with staffing issues. Now in the town of Marion, just 20 miles west of Kalispell, the fire department is hoping to change that.
Marion Fire Chief James Brower says in recent years he's been having a tough time finding volunteers for his fire department.
Brower says he currently has around 15 dedicated volunteers, but it's hard to get consistent coverage during the weekdays when most of his volunteers are working their regular jobs.
"Right now we don't have anyone staffed at the station. It's strictly volunteer. When the tones go out for calls for service, if somebody's around they respond from their house to come in. During the day right now, it's slim pickings."
But Brower is hoping to change that.
The Marion Fire District Board of Trustees has begun discussing ways to improve their service.
Last year the Marion Fire Department responded to close to 200 calls, one of the busiest years they had. But for some of those calls, Brower was unsure if he'd have enough people respond. He's hoping that adding paid staffed members to the department would potentially solve the problems.
"Ideally it would be wonderful to have two people staffed at the station Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. That would be ideal. That would be great."
But if the department were to add more staffing, Brower believes they'd have to ask taxpayers for help.
As for now, all he can do is continue to work with that he has.