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Volunteer Firefighters Battle The Elements At Fire

December 11, 2012, 5:22 AM by Austin Hoffman

Volunteer Firefighters Battle The Elements At Fire

Every day emergency responders put their lives at risk to save others. But add frigid temperatures, freezing water and high stress and it can make an already difficult situation even worse.
That's what volunteer firefighters had to deal with Monday at an early morning fire.

"This is what they train for," Minnehaha County Emergency Manager Lynn DeYoung said.

It was a scene filled with smoke and flames. The men behind the hoses are all volunteers. 

"They were called out, many of them, before their job started; some of them probably came from their job. I know there’s a couple that work overnights. So not only do they do their regular job but they also do this," DeYoung said.

DeYoung says it's no easy job: water freezing on every surface of their gear, frozen hoses, and in this case, fighting a fire in rural South Dakota, all when an office would be much more comfortable.

"But they're willing to do it; they're part of the community.  That’s what community people do, whether it's on the fire department or any other clubs.  But these guys just happen to be on the fire department and they enjoy it, they do," DeYoung said.

DeYoung says dispatch automatically sends out two departments when the structure fire is in a rural area.  It’s a situation of neighbors helping neighbors with the goal of keeping everyone safe.

“No one wants to see a neighbor’s house burn down,” DeYoung said.

Neighbors were the first to notice the fire Monday morning and actually pulled a father and son out of bed who had no idea their home was on fire. Everyone was okay, however the home was a total loss.

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