January 7, 2015 Edition

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Imboden VFD
gets new chief,
continues to
improve protection

Jim Jones has been appointed as fire chief of the Imboden Volunteer Fire Department. He said the department is providing the best protection it ever has and improvements will continue to be made.
Photo courtesy of Imboden Live

Jim Jones was appointed as fire chief of the Imboden Volunteer Fire Department at the Imboden City Council meeting Friday.

Jones has served as assistant fire chief since 1973 and will be replacing his son, Chief Chris Jones, who ran unopposed in the mayoral race and took office on Jan. 1.

"It's an honor to serve as chief. I've been with the department since I was 16," Jim said.

Jones was made an official member of the Imboden VFD in 1966. He has been a continuous member since then with the exception of two and a half years he served in the military.

According to Jones, the fire district rating was a Class 8 for years but after increasing training and improving equipment, along with the city's water system being upgraded, the department has lowered its fire-protection rating to a Class 4. Imboden is the smallest Class 4 department in the state and is very close to achieving Class 3, according to Jones.

He said that the department has several new firemen this year who have gone through rigorous training; that coupled with various improvements should push them toward achieving Class 3.

The lower ISO classification will lead to decreased insurance rates for citizens and would rival fire-protection standards of cities much larger than Imboden.

Jones also confirmed that a substation is near completion in Annieville and will soon have a truck stationed in it for quicker response times in the area.

There are four firemen with the department who live in that area who will primarily work from that substation. The smaller station will mostly be equipped to handle grass and brush fires. "I doubt there will be any insurance adjustments in that area, but it will offer peace of mind," Jones said.

Jones plans to serve as chief for a few years but said he will be stepping down after that. "I've served for nearly 50 years," he said. "I used to stay up at night wondering who's going to take our place? I don't have to do that anymore because they're here."

With an influx of young firemen who Jones commends for their fast response to calls, commitment to the job and love for their community, he said that the department is prepared to provide the same level of fire protection for many years to come.

Imboden currently has 29 active firefighters on its roster, including a paramedic and four EMTs who help with medical runs, a key service the department provides.

Jones has appointed former Captains Joe Chappell and Randy McFadden as assistant chiefs. Chris Jones will continue to serve the department as a captain.

The Imboden Volunteer Fire Department responded to a total of 198 calls in 2014 including 12 structure fires, 12 motor vehicle accidents and 118 medical calls.

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