As conditions for a dangerous fire season continue to build in the Black Hills. Kota territory fire departments face increasing pressure to recruit and retain volunteers.
In the fifth year of drought even with about 30 volunteers on his roster Deadwood fire chief Mike Klamm is always looking for more help. Klamm says employer support is also critical for volunteer departments because many wouldbe volunteers can’t afford to leave their jobs on short notice.
Local volunteer department chiefs say veteran volunteers also often move to take new jobs or people simply can’t find time for intensive training.
To begin withto get the fire fighter one coursethat takes at least one month of training with weekends and some of that, wildland training on top of that. It’s just hundreds of hours a month. so far this year, the deadwood fire department has not dealt with forest fire. many other area volunteer departments have already covered a number of small timber and grass fires