by Evelyn Pyburn
Although the rate of calls slowed somewhat in December, the Lockwood Fire Department still ended the year with a record number of calls. The year of 2022 ended with a total of 943 calls compared to last year’s 924 calls.
Fire Chief John Staley told the board during their regular monthly meeting last Wednesday that they should start thinking about building a second station. Typically, 850 calls is the benchmark at which a fire department starts looking at expansion, he said, and Lockwood is far beyond that. By the time they get a second station built they will be “a thousand over,” said Staley, noting that Lockwood is estimated to have a population for between 9,400 and 10,000.
Staffing at Lockwood Fire Department has grown from 12 people to 16.
Staley said that they are starting out the new year experimenting with five-man shifts, with the hope it will give them more flexibility. “We are going to give it a whirl,” he said, even though they are essentially “down” one staff person since their newest fire fighter, Shady Erhorn, is in the process of training and will not be available to be on staff for a while. She is the district’s replacement for Captain Keith Kober’s retirement.