Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - After a press conference on Wednesday, I spoke with Missoula Fire Chief Gordy Hughes, who expressed his thanks to the voters of Missoula.

“I just want to thank all the citizens of Missoula and those that went out to vote, send in their ballots support to the department,” said Chief Hughes. “I really appreciate and can speak to my excitement over the passage of the levy and what this means to the citizens here in our great community and to the firefighters that are currently serving.”

Fire Chief Gordy Hughes Thanked Missoula Voters for Their Support

Chief Hughes said the vote of confidence and support was a huge boost to every member of the fire department.

“It’s a huge morale boost to the department for the reasons that they're seeing some support from local community and what they do day in and day out, provide the service that they do,” he said. “The passage of the levy and the overwhelming support that we see at the polls speaks to what our folks value in the service that we provide.”

Hughes said the Cost of a New Fire Engine is now over $1 Million

I asked Chief Hughes about how inflation has made the cost of a new fire truck skyrocket.

“If I were to put in an order today for one of those big red trucks that everybody's familiar with seeing on the streets, they aren't delivering those for three years,” he said. “We were paying half a million dollars before COVID. Now, for one of those at today's prices, they're at a million dollars.”

Hughes said he was also grateful for the boost provided to his Mobile Support Team that helps to divert individuals with low-risk behavioral health issues away from jails and hospital emergency departments.

READ MORE: Missoula Primary Election 2024: Winners, Turnout, and Key Figures

Mayor Davis on the Fire Levy: Thank you, Missoula!

Mayor Andrea Davis thanks Missoula residents for their support of the Missoula Fire Department in approving the Fire Levy on the ballot on Tuesday.

“Our firefighters are deeply conscientious and take their jobs very seriously,” Davis said. “They want to do the best job possible, and that means showing up as quickly as they can. Every day, they are called to help with medical emergencies, fires in homes and businesses, and mental health crises, where the need for help is immediate. That’s why they say, ‘Response times save lives.’"

Davis said City of Missoula leadership and staff understand the stress of rising property taxes.

"We pay them too,” she said. “The fact that Missoula stepped up to help in this tax climate means so much. We will continue to work with our state legislators in the coming session to find solutions for our residential taxpayers.”

According to Davis, one of the top priorities for the City of Missoula is public safety. She said the money from this levy will allow the Fire Department to honor the gold standard of response times, hire 20 additional firefighters, determine a site for a new fire station,  and ensure that the Missoula Fire Department has the resources it needs to protect our community.

Top 5 RV Parks in Montana

When you need more than just a campground, you might need an RV park! Especially if you like to travel the country in a proper Recreational Vehicle, you need to know where to find good places to park for a few days. Montana is home to some very fine RV parks. Here are some of the best that Montana has to offer when you're on the road.

Gallery Credit: mwolfe

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