Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The Missoula City Fire Department Station 3 at 39th and Hillview Way was the venue for a family-style open house to showcase their firefighting apparatus and serve up ice cream to the many children who accompanied their parents to the event.

I spoke with firefighter and paramedic Andrew Pace who explained the purpose of the event.

Fire Department Station 3 Hosted Friday's Open House

“We wanted to do kind of a community event here today,” began Pace. “We have a levy initiative on the on the ballot and the election is June 4th, so we figured it'd be a good time to bring folks down to the fire department and show them what it is that we do and have them be able to ask any questions they might have about the levy.”

Pace explained the situation with the current number of firefighters and how Missoula has grown since 2008, the last time the fire department hired any new personnel.

Andrew Pace Explained the Need for the Fire Levy on the Ballot

“The city has grown approximately 17 percent in population since 2008,” he said. “In that time, we have not hired another firefighter since then to staff our fire engines. In my opinion, the idea of raising the taxes is not an easy pill to swallow for anyone. But I guess in my own mind, I think about the folks who are having their worst possible day when we respond, and I think about how quickly I would want someone to respond to a family member or a friend of mine.”

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Pace said an Entirely New Fire Station will Eventually be Built

Pace acknowledged that due to the city’s expanding population, a new fire station is planned for the near future.

“The location of a potential Station Six is undetermined,” he said. “The city's currently doing a study through a third party that's going to determine some potential areas where it would be best positioned to keep the engines in the city reliable and to decrease response times.”

Assistant Fire Chief Brad Davis thanked all the people who stopped by with their children to enjoy the fire department’s open house.

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Gallery Credit: Will Gordon

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