Report: 2023 a Busy Year with Significant Changes for Scottsbluff Fire Department

Report: 2023 a Busy Year with Significant Changes for Scottsbluff Fire Department
Scottsbluff Fire Chief Tom Schingle presenting his 2023 Annual Report to the Scottsbluff City Councl
February 22nd, 2024 | Ryan Murphy

There were lots of changes at the Scottsbluff Fire Department in 2023, as detailed by Fire Chief Tom Schingle during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

He told the council that the fire department saw an eight percent increase in calls from 2022, with a total of 2,748 calls for service last year.

Another major change was staffing, as four new personnel were hired on to replace members who either resigned or retired. Schingle says the biggest losses were the retirements of Lt. Chad Hobbs and Bruce Meier, who had a combined 47 years of service.

Mike Levick and Jesse Lauruhn were promoted to the rank of Lieutenant following the aforementioned retirements.

Joining the Scottsbluff Fire Department include firefighters Joey Munoz, Nolan Forbes, and Joe Imhof, as well as Fire Prevention Officer Chris Perales Jr.

“And all of these guys are doing a great job, doing a lot of training and and getting certified and everything,” remarked Schingle.

He also noted with the recent hiring’s brought down the average age of the department’s firefighters from 40.2 years old to 35.8 years old, which was probably much needed.

The Chief also explained that last spring, he decided to further define our response zones.

“The past few years the City was divided into six zones for tracking purposes, so we split those zones into four additional zones to better track response times. The map shows the newly defined zones in the City limits.”

Schingle says there were issues with breaking down the data with the previous zones. He said that for example, Scottsbluff High School was listed in the same zone as Zone 22 in the northeast corner of the city, and that didn’t accurately reflect true response times.

Other notable talking points for the annual report were the addition of another fire truck and a 97% rate of property being saved following fire calls. In 2023, is estimated that there were $250,000 in property loss resulting from fire, with the estimated property valuation of those fires was $6.8 million.


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