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Be somebody in your hometown

The 2010 "Be Somebody - Fire/EMS Recruiting Campaign" kicks off at 3 p.m. Friday to increase public awareness that emergency response in rural areas is generally provided by volunteers.

The 2010 "Be Somebody - Fire/EMS Recruiting Campaign" kicks off at 3 p.m. Friday to increase public awareness that emergency response in rural areas is generally provided by volunteers.

Most small town fire and emergency medical services (EMS) departments are actively recruiting new members.

Personnel from more than 30 departments in Douglas, Bayfield and Sawyer counties will arrive in Brule 3-6 p.m. for the kick-off event alongside Highway 2, which will include a remote radio broadcast on KQDS radio, 94.1 FM.

For the rest of the evening, each department will set up displays - volunteers, fire rigs and signs saying "Help Wanted" and "Be Somebody" - in high traffic areas of their communities to emphasize their 24 hours a day, seven days a week commitment.

Recruitment and retention is the No. 1 challenge for volunteer emergency service organizations.

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The need is not only for firefighters, rescue personnel and EMS responders, but building and vehicle maintenance, secretary, treasurer, fire inspections and food preparation during emergencies.

A 2004 study released by the National Volunteer Fire Council noted that each fire or EMS volunteer saves their community an average of $45,000 per year.

Personal benefits of being a volunteer include helping neighbors, sharing camaraderie, learning career building skills and becoming involved in the community.

Residents are encouraged to stop and discuss volunteer opportunities with department members during the "Be Somebody" event or call (888) 926-1676 and leave a message indicating your interest.

Related Topics: FIRESSUPERIOR
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