A nation-wide shortage of volunteer firefighters has departments in Door County leaning on each other for a little more for help.
“It’s nearing crisis mode speaking generically for volunteer fire departments,” said Chris Hecht, Fire Chief for the Sister Bay-Liberty Grove Fire Department.
The department has about 65 volunteer firefighters but could always use more.
“In a perfect world we would like to have 75 or more, and we’d like to have them all show up all the time, but the reality is we all have jobs, we all have lives, we all have families,” said Chief Hecht. It’s an uphill battle their neighbors in Ephraim are also facing.
“In a perfect world I would love to have at least 40 people on staff,” said Ephraim Fire Chief Justin MacDonald. “Our department is fairly fortunate. Recently we gained 2 people who have graduated from firefighting school this past weekend bringing our number up to 28 firefighters within the department.”
Volunteer firefighters make up about 67 percent of all firefighters in the United States.