Thank you Volunteer Firefighters!
By Rebecca Christman
|Photo by USFWS - Pacific Region|
After two snows, it’s safe to say that harvest is done in South Dakota. When thinking about harvest you think about the farmer in the combine, the trucks hauling grain, and the people at the elevator. What you might not think about in connection to harvest are firefighters. Harvest is a time of celebration on the farm, but unfortunately it’s also a time when fires are likely to happen. Dry crops and hot equipment don’t always and mix and sometimes fires happen. Luckily in our area we have excellent volunteer firefighters, and many times they are farmers.
My dad is a volunteer firefighter at the Academy fire department, which is just a few miles from our house. The town has a population of about 10, but there is a great crew of volunteers from the surrounding area. These men went through night classes and extensive training, just like any other firefighter. When there’s a fire call, all the volunteers get a page and drop whatever they are doing and rush to the firehouse. This crew has saved crops and equipment many times.
The last fire call my dad went to was just a couple weeks ago. A local farmer was harvesting and a fire started in the field. The Academy volunteer fire department was able to get there in less than fifteen minutes! That’s pretty impressive considering everyone had to drop what they were doing, drive to the firehouse, get suited up, and head out on the truck. Because of their quick action, much of the crop and the equipment was saved.
Although they aren’t always thought of in relation to harvest, volunteer firefighters play an important role in our rural communities. We hope they aren’t needed, but they are always ready if they are. To all firefighters, we say thank you.
Listen to this week's radio segment here! 11.30.15_FD_Firefighters.mp3