VALLEY SPRINGS, S.D. (KELO) — There are more than 8,000 firefighters in South Dakota. More than nine out of 10 of them are volunteers. No matter where they work, every firefighter needs to go through the same training.
Paid firefighters typically work 24 hour shifts, volunteers are on call all day, everyday.
“Take any small town, the volunteer fire department is made up of anybody and any occupation. You may have the school teachers, you may have the local businessman, you may have the local banker. We’re made up of anybody in town that is willing to participate and goes through the training and has the time to do it,” President of the Firefighter’s Association Charlie Kludt said.
In Wednesday’s Eye on KELOLAND, we’ll take you to two South Dakota towns to give you a closer look at the lives of their volunteer firefighters.