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Rural communities rely on volunteers in emergencies

The 2018 "Be Somebody" fire and emergency medical service recruiting event runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday along U.S. Highway 2 in Brule to raise awareness that rural communities rely on and need volunteers to provide emergency services.

Personnel from more than 30 departments will be on hand to answer questions and show apparatus, and 107.3 WNXR-FM is broadcasting live from the site. Officials from supporting agencies and elected officials are expected to attend.

Recruitment and retention is the No. 1 challenge for volunteer emergency service organizations. The need is not only for firefighters, rescue personnel and EMS responders, but for volunteers to fill roles such as fire hall and vehicle maintenance, secretary, treasurer, fire inspections and food preparation during emergencies.

A "Be Somebody" phone line has been established to help those interested in becoming emergency services volunteers, call (888) 926-1676 and leave a message. The appropriate department chief or director who will return their call and answer questions.