Petersburg Pilot -

Volunteer Fire Department recruiting


Kyle Clayton / Petersburg Pilot

Bob Carter teaches fellow search and rescue members 'the ropes' as they learn how to properly tie knots and use various safety systems to effectively launch a ropes rescue scenario.

The Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department is recruiting new volunteers and is offering a Fire Fighter One class this spring.

Dave Berg, assistant chief, said the fire department is looking for ten volunteers to fill the class, which would bring the overall roster to 35 members.

The class teaches basic fire fighting skills including information about fire behavior, equipment handling, hazardous materials and also features live fire exercises.

Berg said becoming a volunteer fire fighter doesn't necessarily mean you have to run into a burning building.

"There's all kinds of things people can do for the fire hall," Berg said. "We need help chucking hoses, refilling air tank bottles or vehicle drivers."

Emergency Medical Services and Search and Rescue (SAR) also need volunteers.

Bob Carter, SAR director, said although he's got more than twenty volunteers he's always looking for fresh faces.

"I've got 25 people on my roster which sounds like a lot but any given time half my people are traveling or something like that," Carter said. "If we get a big search where we're needing a lot of boots on the ground I'm going to be scraping the bottom of the barrel."

Search and rescue volunteers meet twice a month. At its recent meeting the team practiced rope rescue-a smaller branch of the SAR team.

Carter said with more than 100 registered snowmobiles on the island, it's likely only a matter of time before one of them gets into an accident.

"They're pioneering more and more areas on the island and some of those are pretty treacherous, steep cliffs," Carter said. "We're preparing for the possibility that somebody tumbles over a cliff, is injured and we've got to get out there."

Carter said the SAR team mobilizes about twice a year.

After being a member in good standing of any of the branches for one year, volunteers receive free medevac insurance and a discount on their property taxes.

Stop by or call the fire hall for more information.


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