DeKalb dept. to hire two firemen

By Lisa Daigle

The DeKalb Fire Department is understaffed by five employees, most of whom are on disability leave. However, DeKalb Fire Chief Jeff Long said the department has a complete emergency response team.

The fire department’s operation despite this temporary manpower shortage was approved at the DeKalb City Council meeting Nov. 13.

Long said he expects two firefighters to be hired in early December. He said the department already has a list of employees to choose from.

“We’re not going to run short (of firefighters),” Long said. The shortage is an “administrative and financial problem.”

Long said the “minimum manpower requirement” for emergency response teams is 10 firefighters. If a firefighter becomes sick or disabled before new employees can be hired, Long said off duty firefighters will be called in.

The vacancies include three lieutenant positions and two captain positions.

Lt. Steve Kessler is currently on injury leave.

Lt. Curtis Dulohery was promoted to fill the vacant assistant fire chief position.

Lt. Reuben Nelson was promoted to captain to temporarily fill the position of Captain John Isom, currently on disability leave, and later fill Captain Charles Johnson’s position when he retires in January.