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Howard Fire Department pinned, Chief says new ambulance service runs smoothly

Posted at 10:28 PM, Jan 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-22 23:28:49-05
  • Video shows Howard Fire Department staffers being pinned at the start of Monday's Village Board meeting
  • Many of the firefighters also work as EMTs and paramedics to staff the department's new in-house ambulance service
  • One second-generation Howard Firefighter and EMT shares how he feels about the transition

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Firefighters were honored in the Village of Howard Monday evening. The department switched to its own ambulance service at the start of the year and I'm checking in with the Fire Chief to see how it's all going.

"I swear that I will uphold the constitution of the United States [and] the constitution of the state of Wisconsin."

"I want to express how proud I am of each and every one of you for all that you have done for this department."

At the start of Howard's Village Board meeting Monday, the Howard Fire Department honored its staffers with a pinning ceremony — an event Fire Chief Dennis Staeven says is an honored tradition.

Lieutenant Jared Hohol is a firefighter and EMT helping to staff the department's new in-house ambulance service.

"Our call volume is quite large, I would say, for the village. Every call is different, and we try to deliver a high level of service to each patient and each individual that we encounter."

A second generation firefighter for the village, Hohol was pinned by his father, who also works for the department.

"It's an exciting time not only for the department but for the village of Howard overall. Expanding our services to the village and putting staff here 24 seven, 365 is going to improve not only the EMS service but the fire service."

The department is now borrowing a second ambulance while theirs is on back order. The new one should arrive some time in the spring. But, Staeven says not much is holding the new service back.

"The only big hang-up was just getting used to the geography for people that moved [to be with] The department and getting used to the technology that we have that we weren't using before."

As we have previously reported, funding for the ambulance service largely came from the state. And a federal grant allowed the department to hire four of its eight new full-time staffers. In Howard, Pari Apostolakos, NBC 26.