KIMT NEWS 3 – Volunteer fire stations in Minnesota have been struggling to fill positions they have available.
Salary positions, like the ones you would find at the Mason City Fire Department, fill up much faster than volunteer positions, and in rural areas, it’s becoming a challenge to find people who are interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter.
Fire Chief Bob Platts says he understands why Minnesota is seeing these issues and said that he has seen the very same thing happening in Iowa.
“Some communities have strong support, they have a lot of people waiting to be on their departments, many of them out there they’re struggling, a lot of the young people have left or are leaving town, the departments are getting older”
As salary jobs continue to be more favorable than volunteer positions, volunteer departments will continue to fall into this rut of not having enough firefighters to have a full staff.
However, it might not only be about the salary.
“A lot of the changes I think have happened,” Platts said in regard to the new standards of becoming certified as a firefighter.
Because of all of these factors, Minnesota will continue their search for more fire fighters state-wide.