Fire department needs equipment, volunteers
By Annette Tait
Sixteen active volunteer firefighters are currently responsible for two-thirds of Oliver County’s 731 square miles and 1,850 residents. They respond on a moment’s notice, often in the middle of meals, family activities, and, when permitted by their employers, their work days.
The Oliver County Fire Protection District needs more volunteers -- not only for active firefighting, but also to drive vehicles, carry supplies and equipment, and man the radio in the fire hall office. The squad is also working on the ongoing process of updating equipment.
“Our goals for the upcoming year are to update grass fire equipment, update equipment on the trucks, and to recruit more volunteers,” OCFPD Fire Chief Kenny Rude said, emphasizing the need for volunteers.
OCFPD responds to structure and vehicle fires -- like the recent fire at the golf course and rollover crash/car fire on Hwy. 25 -- and provides extrication for passengers trapped after motor vehicle accidents. The squad also responds as a preventative measure when there is potential for fire after an accident, and is on duty at events like the Old Settlers Days demolition derby.
But the most frequent calls they respond to are for grass fires. The current drought and brisk winds provide perfect conditions for fires to start, and to spread.