As fire departments nationwide have grappled with recruitment and retention challenges, area firefighters in Sauk, Marquette and Columbia counties say it’s becoming harder to find people available for fire calls during the day.
“It’s kind of a roll of the dice,” Baraboo Fire Chief Kevin Stieve said. “We need to get creative in how we do things.”
Every fire department has its own methods to find more staff.
Pardeeville Fire Chief Rick Wendt said word of mouth in local communities goes a long way.
Fire Chief Clayton Simonson said the Portage Fire Department holds open house events and educates children on fire prevention at local schools.
Lake Delton Fire Chief Darren Jorgenson said his department pushes promotional videos on social media and advertisements in newspapers to reach wide audiences.
The Lake Delton Fire Department also has its own newsletter and mails out pamphlets.