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Carsonville Fire Department seeks volunteers

The Carsonville Fire and Rescue Department is looking for five members to join its organization. Assistant Fire Chief Chris Ayers said new applicants are required to pass a background check and complete a six-month probationary period.

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Serving over 200 square miles, the Carsonville Fire and Rescue crew is looking for five new members to ensure help is on hand when needed. Contributed/Carsonville Fire and Rescue

“This allows new applicants to experience fire and rescue calls to see if it is a fit for them and decide if they want to fully commit to the department,” Ayers said.

“Once you become a member, the training is paid for by the department. Some benefits of joining the department are free training, retirement, reimbursement for calls and service to your neighbors and community.”

Started in 1977, the department has two stations. Station 1 is on County Road 26 in Ponsford, and Station 2 is on County 48 north of Osage. There are currently 25 members on the roster.

Carsonville Fire and Rescue was started in 1977.

“We currently have an average of 260 calls a year and cover 236 square miles for fire and rescue, with an additional 14 square miles for a total of 250 square miles for rescue,” Ayers said. “We also give mutual aid to our border departments of Frazee, Wolf Lake, Elbow Lake, Park Rapids and any others that request our assistance.”

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A driver’s license is not required if firefighters have someone to give them a ride to the fire. A basic physical is required.

The department is currently looking at increasing its pay reimbursement scale for volunteer firefighters. “Some of the fire calls we go on can be up to eight hours,” he said.

Ayers said that although the fire danger is higher this year due to the ongoing drought, this year’s fire season has been about average so far.

“We’ve had more structural fires than we’ve had grass fires,” he said. “Our call volume is still up from two years ago, though. I think we're at about 150 to 160 calls so far this year.”

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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