Wilton Fire Department struggles with personnel shortages

Rural fire departments across Northern California are worried response times to fires and other incidents could be delayed due to personnel shortages. One of those departments is in Wilton, which covers 59 square miles in Sacramento County. "When people call 9-1-1 they expect someone to show up," Wilton fire Chief Jeff Cookson said. Like most rural fire departments, Wilton's was once on an all-volunteer basis, but Cookson said it is now a challenge to get volunteer firefighters. In 2012, the department began mixing volunteers and part-time firefighters to help meet required staffing.

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