Volunteer Firefighting A Tough Role

Waupun Fire Chief B.J. DeMaa says they are lucky to have 28 dedicated people, mostly volunteers, on their department. Those firefighters put in a long night last Tuesday when they battled a garage fire that spread to a home and another garage on Monroe Street. He says, “You know a lot of these folks by the time we get back to the station and get all the equipment cleaned up and ready and back on the truck put into service you’re pushing up around 4, 4:30 so a lot of these folks go home take a shower, grab a bite to eat and they are off to work in the morning.” DeMaa says they are fortunate they haven’t had a lot of turnover in their department. He says, “Normally just through retirements or people that leave our area there’s usually a handful of positions that need to be filled. So in May of this year we will be posting for two openings to try and fill positions that are either vacant or we know will becoming vacant.” He feels it will be interesting to see how things go over the next ten years for volunteer-based departments. DeMaa says there are a lot more fires involving mutual aid requests so they have enough firefighters at the scene to do the job.