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More Rural Volunteer Firefighters Needed



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A series of television commercials targeting young adults will be broadcast for the next two years thanks to a $200,000 FEMA grant given to the Minnehaha County Fire Chiefs Association. They hope the spots will bring in volunteers by the truckload.   

“We get called on everybody’s worst day. Nobody's having a good time and says ‘lets call the fire department over,’” said Mike Harstad, president of the Minnehaha Fire Chiefs Association. “We go on more calls than we ever have.”

To rural firefighters, more calls means more volunteers are needed

“We need fresh recruits. We need more manpower to get done what we do,” said Harstad.

The Fire Chiefs Association hopes new television ads will bring in fresh faces around the county. The ads try to tell potential volunteers about the benefits of helping their community.

“There's no better feeling that I can get than helping someone out when they’re having a bad day,” said Harstad.   

While experience is a plus, fire departments are looking for anybody willing to help.

“We're really looking for individuals who can be available in their communities during the day time,” said Amy Marsh of the Renner Fire Department.

The Crooks Fire Department has a recruitment goal in mind.  

“Our roster right now has 22. Ultimately, I would like to have 26 to 30,” said Harstad who is also the chief of the Crooks Volunteer Fire Department.

Hoping these federally funded ads will bring in the help they need to keep residents and their property in Minnehaha County safe and sound.

You can expect to see these ads on a number of stations starting on the first of the year.
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