Jamestown Fire Department looking for volunteers

Jamestown Fire Department
A new ladder truck, like what is on order for the Jamestown Fire Department, visited here in February on its way to New Town, N.D. John M. Steiner / The Sun

There is a continuous need for volunteers at the Jamestown Fire Department, according to Jim Reuther, chief of the department.

"We're always looking for people," he said. "We're looking for people that have the time to join. It takes a lot of commitment."

The Jamestown Fire Department has 29 volunteers, well short of its authorized force of 38 firefighters. The need for new people has prompted the department to loosen some guidelines with the hope of aiding recruitment.

"The minimum age was previously 21 but we have lowered it to 18 but the person must have a high school diploma or GED," Reuther said. "And we've expanded the territory where they can live from within city limits to within one mile of city limits."

The two changes went into effect early this summer and haven't garnered the department any new volunteers yet, he said.


Reuther said the department is also looking forward to the delivery of its new ladder truck in October. The city had utilized a ladder truck owned by the state of North Dakota under a memo of understanding regarding fire protection at the North Dakota State Hospital. That truck failed in the summer of 2019.

"They are working on it," Reuther said, regarding the construction of the truck by Heiman Fire Equipment at Lyons, South Dakota. "As the components come in they get added to the truck."

The truck is largely finished with work remaining installing some of the electronic components that have been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. The truck's door includes lettering proclaiming the Jamestown Fire Department and the ladder includes the designation "Ladder 1" for the truck.

"It is being designated as Ladder 1 because it is the first ladder truck purchased by the city and the community," Reuther said.

Shortly after it arrives, the truck will be displayed at the Jamestown Civic Center parking lot so people can look over the new truck while maintaining proper social distancing.

When the new truck arrives, staff from Heiman Fire Equipment will provide three days of training for members of the Jamestown Fire Department.

"We're making the training available to the entire department," Reuther said. "We'll still have certain drivers for the ladder truck but the training is open to everyone."

The department is also working on the recertification of its personnel for rescue operations.


"It is all part of that commitment of time," Reuther said.

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