Want to become a volunteer firefighter? Detroit Lakes, Becker County Fire Halls Hosting Open Houses June 9
A special open house will be held at the Detroit Lakes Fire Hall on Wednesday, June 9 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The event will be open to the public and will focus on anyone who thinks, or has thought about becoming. volunteer firefighter in their own city.
“Come in, check the equipment,” said Detroit Lakes Fire Chief Ryan Swanson. “If you have any questions about… membership, what does it take to become a member, this is just an open house.”
The volunteer search events will also take place on June 9 in Becker County at the Frazee, Audubon, Lake Park, Wolf Lake, Carsonville, Elbow-Tulaby and Callaway fire stations.
Joining a local fire department has two main requirements, applicants must be 21 years old and live within four miles or eight minutes of a local fire station. Applications will be available at the fire hall during the open house and no resumes are required, Swanson said.
Detroit Lakes firefighters put out a construction trailer fire in the parking lot of Detroit Lakes high school. (Michael Achterling / Tribune)
“A resume says, I have experience in this area and you should hire me, and here we are looking for (members) where the majority of people have not gone to school for the fight against fires or fire science degrees, ”he said. “If this is something that you’re willing to do and you’re wondering just how long it takes and stuff like that, come talk to us and we can discuss it all.”
All training for new recruits will be done within the department. No experience is therefore necessary to become a paid on-call firefighter, he said.
“People don’t need any prior training, we take care of that,” Swanson said. “We’re sending you to practice, and this last group was done in Detroit Lakes in the evenings so you don’t run out of work time.”
In addition, training courses are free to all recruits and all firefighters are entitled to a pension based on their time on duty, according to the Becker County Firefighters Facebook post.
The fire department has held these periodic open houses to find new recruits over the past three years, he said.
In April, Detroit Lakes was scheduled to fill an additional seven positions to provide a full complement of 30 firefighters.
Mayor Matt Brenk, left, swears in to new Detroit Lakes firefighters Adam Schnathorst, right, and Ryan Schute at a regular Detroit Lakes city council meeting on April 13, 2021, at the Historic Holmes Theater. (Michael Achterling / Tribune)
“If you want to give back, you want to serve your community, come to your local fire station and if you meet the requirements, where you live and where you work, and how long it takes, then each department should have apps available,” he said. Swanson said. “Fill out an application and we’ll keep you posted on how things develop.”