Local fire departments are experiencing a shortage of volunteer and full time firefighters. In an effort to combat the shortage, the Department of Safety and Professional Services awarded Western Technical College $22,593 at the Onalaska Fire Department in an effort to spark high school students' interest in becoming a fire fighter. President of WTC, Roger Stanford, said he wanted to give students a more in depth look at what goes in to being a firefighter.
"How do we get to the younger people? What types of experiences can we give them? You can do tours and they do tours here and that is all really good exposure, but what about actually giving them experience in firefighter training?" Stanford said.