The community of Catoosa is struggling to keep up with its growing population. New homes mean more responsibility for the fire department.
The Catoosa Fire Department has already fielded more than 600 calls this year and there is only a full-time staff of three people and 18 volunteers. Collinsville's fire department has answered three times fewer calls, but has nearly twice the full time staff.
Catoosa's acting fire chief Denus Benton says the town is doing well with the staff it has, but it needs more help. "Our budget has increased. We've had good sales tax returns the last couple of months. And our budget this fiscal year did increase so that might enable us to buy additional equipment or additional personnel."
Benton says the department is actively pursuing grant money to help add manpower and equipment.