Neosho Fire Chief Mike Eads presented the department's 2017 Annual Report to members of the Neosho City Council at Tuesday's meeting.

Neosho Fire Chief Mike Eads presented the department's 2017 Annual Report to members of the Neosho City Council at Tuesday's meeting.
"The Neosho Fire Department (NFD) year started busy and stayed that way for most of the year," Eads said. "We had 2,329 calls for service. A breakdown of the call history, response by district, department training and history of calls of service are included in the report."
Departmental facts included in the report list three fire stations, Fire Station #1 located at 125 N. College St., Fire Station #2 at 501 Industrial Dr., and the unmanned district fire station #3 at 13001 Ireland Ln. In addition to Eads, the department includes Deputy Fire Chief Jim Ledford, administrative assistant Shelby Pringle  and fire inspector/firefighter Scott Maness. There are three battalion chiefs, Brad Morris, Adrian Hitchcock, and Bret Smith.
NFD has 27 full-time firefighters, three paid per call firefighters, which breaks down to two chief officers, one administration assistant, one inspector, three battalion chiefs, three captains, 12 engineers, six firefighters and three paid per call firefighters.
Response area for the district is approximately 93 square miles including 15.75 square miles within the City of Neosho and 77.25 square miles in the Neosho Area Fire Protection District outside the city. The NFD also participates in mutual aid calls and in the statewide mutual aid assistance program when requested if resources and personnel are available.
The City's ISO rating is 4/4X and the District ISO rating is 5/10.
In 2017, the department responded to 51 calls for services that were logged as a fire (structure, vehicle, etc). 14 of those calls involved over $5,000 in losses. There no civilian or fire personnel deaths in either the city or within the Neosho Area Fire Protection District.
Personnel participated in 5,669.32 hours of in-house and outside department training last year, which breaks down to 182.82 hours of training per individual.
A total of 110 hours of public education was provided during the year. A total of 284 adults and 1,430 children participated in activities that included school fire prevention programs, fire safety talks for businesses, industry, and the public, and extinguisher training.
"We continue to train all firefighters to be engineers so we have the flexibility to have enough operators to respond to structure fires,” said Eads. “We continue to provide our firefighters with the needed training and work to bring in as much outside training as possible."
There was a total of 847 inspections were performed in 2017 with 543 inspections for pre-plans, business, company, industry, new construction, remodels, tent, fireworks and burn permits. 304 were re-inspections that followed up on questions or concerns from the original inspection.
Some items noted in the review include the Neosho Area Fire Protection District.
"The district continues to work supporting the fire district," Eads said. "The Station #3 that the district funded is up and operational with a pumper, two tankers, and a brush truck. A project in the works is the purchase of a new brush truck and taking an older brush truck and converting it to a light duty rescue. This new, smaller recuse will take the place of an existing rescue truck."
The fire department assisted with fund raising efforts and community assistance programs including the Newton County Fire Chiefs Christmas for Kids, Shop With A Hero, Food Basket Brigade, the Neosho Christmas parade, Relay For Life, Fourth of July activities, numerous dunk tanks, and many other city and Chamber of Commerce events.
2017 marked the fifth year to hold an open house and chili cook-off at Fire Station #1 during the Neosho Fall Festival.
"The chili cook-off went over very well again this year," Eads said. "We opened the competition up to other agencies including police, sheriffs, fire, public works and ambulance. The police department won for the second year. If you missed out, we'll be back in 2018."
The full 2017 annual Fire Department report can be access online at the City of Neosho website.
"I would like to say 'thank you' to the citizens that have continued to support the fire department," Eads said. "We have worked very hard at maintaining the high standards that the citizens of Neosho have come to expect. To the members of the fire department, their families, fellow city employees, and first responders from around the area, a big thank you for your time helping make Neosho a safer place. In times of need, this community comes together making Neosho a better place for our families to live."