CES Chief Mokracek wants YOU!

CES Chief Mokracek wants YOU!

In 2014 Central Emergency Services (CES) was the fourth busiest fire station in the entire state of Alaska only answering fewer calls than Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. According to CES Chief Chris Mokracek that has motivated some changes for the coming year. “To run that many calls requires staffing. We are really good in having the equipment to meet the demand for the service area, but future staffing is the big issue and that really is our biggest expense,” Chief Mokracek told the Dispatch in an interview. With financial resources being strained Mokracek says CES is returning to a model that has proven effective throughout history, “To maintain the status quo in regards to the mil rate we are looking at augmenting our services with volunteer firefighters. No one wants to pay more taxes and we feel this is the most fiscally responsible way to augment our staffing for the service area and meet the needs of the community.”

Mokracek believes the community has the talent pool to fill the need and that the program will offer other benefits for the individual volunteer, “Kenai Peninsula College has their paramedic program and a fire science program that is going strong and we feel we can establish a very good partnership with KPC utilizing students to augment our staffing while providing seasoning for future job applicants. We also will be able to provide some housing through a resident program where students can live at the stations and be available to respond to calls while saving housing expense and giving back to the community by providing service to the CES area. This has been a very effective program nationwide and also in Fairbanks,” he said.

In coming days the CES volunteer recruitment campaign will be gearing up with posters throughout the service area, “January is our big drive and application will be collected through this month and have an orientation in February to get the ball rolling. Becoming a volunteer for CES is a time intensive endeavor with requirements which must be met to maintain membership. The minimum age is 18 but there is no maximum age and of course we appreciate any past experience, if you are an EMT, ETT or certified fire fighter that’s great but if not we will provide the training necessary. There are all kinds of rolls that need to be filled from driving a fire apparatus, responding to fires or emergency medical incidents we can find a spot for you,” said Mokracek. Stipends are paid to volunteers for emergency responses, attending training sessions and some department related events. If you are interested in becoming a resident volunteer contact CES at 907-262-4792 ext 3 or visit the website at centralemergencyservices.com or stop by the administrative offices at 253 Wilson Lane in Soldotna and pick up a membership packet.

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