Keeping your family and home safe in the event of a fire could be harder to do without a few volunteers stepping up. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department is not unlike other fire departments in the county and, for that matter, the country with its woes in terms of recruitment. It especially faces challenges with its daytime staffing as current members retire and prospective ones either lack the interest or the ability to get out of their day job for fire calls. For B.U.G. Fire Department, it means only having 11 of its 48 members across its two stations available for emergencies if it happens in the middle of a weekday. Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says he is trying to be proactive now to avoid more headaches later.
Vandertie says that having a steady stable of volunteer firefighters can potentially delay the higher costs of having paid on-call members or even more expensive options that may be cost-prohibitive to small, rural communities. He is happy they are not at that point yet.