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Focus group agrees: La Crosse Fire Department needs more exposure



Fire departments aren’t just about fires. It’s something the La Crosse Fire Department apparently needs to get more vocal about.

At least according to a recent focus group convened to review the fire department — what it does, what it should do.

Those results, released this week, find the department needs to do more to educate about all it does beyond fighting fires.

Respondents in the group repeatedly pointed to a need for more public info on little-known missions of the department — like collapsed building rescues and EMS services.

“We just need to, kind of, toot our horn a little bit better on some of the things that we’re already doing that maybe people are unaware of,” La Crosse Fire Chief Ken Gilliam said. “Ultimately when it comes down to taxpayers making decisions with budget constraints and whatnot, that we understand why we’re funding a full-time, career fire department and that they’re able to take full advantage of the services that we are able to deliver.”

The focus group also agreed on the need for more regional cooperation and urging for more diversity among fire fighters.

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