Local fire calls have increased this year compared to 2014, according to Manawa Fire Chief Rob Rosenau.
The Manawa Rural Fire Department has a total of 26 calls since last Nov. 1, he told the Manawa Fire Board on Tuesday, Jan. 21.
In the previous fiscal year, Rosenau said the MRFD had 55 total calls and did not hit the 26 mark until late in April.
The breakdown of the calls since Nov. 1 includes six in the city of Manawa, eight in the town of Royalton, four each for the towns of Little Wolf and Union, one in the town of Lebanon and three mutual aid.
In other business, the board discussed changing the pay schedule.
Rosenau requested that this remain as one payment in December, instead of quarterly. He explained that many of the firefighters used this annual payment like a Christmas club savings.
The board agreed to keep the pay schedule the same, but to pay the fire inspectors more often.
The board also discussed billing for fire calls through LifeQuest, the same company that currently handles the ambulance billing.
Rosenau said he thought only three of the 26 year-to-date calls would qualify as billable calls. It was determined that the billing company would know what calls to bill.
The topic was tabled until more information may be gathered from LifeQuest.
Ambulance Director Andy Werth reported that Manawa had 15 runs since Jan. 1, which is about one per day.
He reported that the Manawa Ambulance Service had 34 runs in November and 23 runs in December.
The board agreed to purchase a deer guard for the 827 ambulance at a cost of $850.
The board also approved a tobacco policy for ambulance workers. They adopted the policy after adding that ambulance workers cannot use tobacco while representing the department at public events.
Financing options for the new truck will be presented at the Feb. 17 meeting.