Hamilton takes on new role at Independence Fire Department

By Steve McBride
Independence Daily Reporter – April 26, 2017
Submitted by Newz Group – May 2, 2017

For the last 11 years in the fire department and the past four years as a Lieutenant, Marcus Hamilton has strived toward his goal of rising in the ranks to finally reaching the rank of third shift Captain in the Independence Fire/EMS department.

“I’m excited for the promotion,” said Hamilton. “I started last Sunday and I’m ready to move forward.”

His job will require him to oversee the day to day operations of making sure his shift is fully staffed with the proper amount of paramedics, making sure all of the trucks are covered and daily activities are done.

Hamilton and his wife, Lindsay, have three sons; Corey 10, Gavin 6, and Jacob 5.

Hamilton is an advanced EMT because he was with the fire department before it merged with EMS. He didn’t have to go to paramedic school. “I had experience with the ambulance before we merged,” he said.

It will be Hamilton who will be the first arriving officer at any structure fire or large incident on his shift. “It will be me that will be in command in those cases,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton says one of his biggest desires is to see moral improve. “Change has been difficult. Not knowing where we will be housed in the future is a little unsettling,” he commented. He says the department is giving more focus on the environment inspections.

“We are getting a lot of complaints on tall grass every year and trash build up around houses. It will be up to each shift to oversee their section (which is divided into three sections) of the community and the captain will be responsible for seeing that process is taken care of,” said Hamilton.

When a violation is discovered, the property resident is first told the area must be cleaned up. After later inspection, the department will see if the area is cleaned as requested as well as take pictures of the property. If the resident has not complied with the required clean up, a court order is requested and the court will take over from that point on.

“other than complaints from neighbors, we do drive around the community looking for such areas with either high grass or trash around the property,” said Hamilton.

As he reflects on the amount of structure fires the Fire/EMS is encountering on a yearly basis, he says, “Since I have been on the force the amount of structure fires has actually diminished. Some of that has to do with our Fire Prevention Education we conduct in the schools each year. I believe that helps.” They also have a smoke protector program to keep smoke protectors in houses. “We have a grant from Red Cross which we put smoke protectors in the home. In the past, when we didn’t have grants available to purchase the smoke protectors, we did fundraisers and the firemen would take that money to buy them ourselves,” Hamilton says.

He adds that anyone in need of a smoke detector all they need to do is call the Fire/EMS Department and they will install them for free.

He sees a lot of Independence Community College EMT students coming to get real world experience in the Fire/EMS department. “They have to ride on the ambulance service as an intern program,” said Hamilton. “We also work with Coffeyville Paramedic program as well as Missouri Southern College’s program.”

There is some public relations the department does periodically. “We have gone to Penn Terrace to talk to the residents and staff. We give a lot of tours of the building and equipment. In the summertime, the Quest program will come up for tours and daycare and home school groups as well as individuals that come for tours,” Hamilton said.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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