Volunteer Firefighters Needed for Valley City

TR Staff
Staff Writer

By TR Staff
Did you grow up always wanting to be a firefighter? Loving the sound of the big engine horn when you watched them drive by in the parade?
Now that you are grown, Gary Retterath, Valley City Fire Chief, has that opportunity. Gary invites all to be part of a tradition, be part of the excitement, be part of your community and become a Valley City Volunteer Firefighter.
The Valley City Fire Department has a current total of 34 volunteers including Assistant Fire Chief Ron Burchill, Captain Scott Magnuson, Secretary/Treasurer Gary Peterson, and Lieutenants Jeff Schlittenhardt, Mike Wadeson, Lance Coit, Dewey Magnuson, and Mat Jenrich.
Other volunteers include Steven Abrahamson, Kendall Bjerke, Will Blunk, Derek Bruns, Hudson Burkett, Scott Cole, Kelly Everson, William Gonzales, Rod Grafing, Rich Hass, Aaron Heck, Jordan Heck, Paul Johnson, Dave Youngblood, Josh Magnuson, Omar Malcolm, Ryan Metcalf, Matt Miller, Tyler Modlin, Chaplin Dave Montecullo, Brandon Myers, McKenzie Nordland, Jason Runge, Wyatt Schilling and Talon Schlittenhardt.
Along with fighting area fires, the group acts as an advocate for fire prevention and often helps during other emergent times in the area as well. They respond to all fires, as well as boat accidents and car accidents when necessary. They also have trained divers and are annually certified in hazmat response in case of a spill.
Retterath says that the same volunteers staff both the Valley City Fire Department and the Valley City Rural Fire Department.
Altogether the department covers a total of 500 square miles, averaging 150 calls per year over 13.5 townships and strives to respond to a call in five minutes or less. Retterath says firefighters are faster during the day, and will most likely be closer to five minutes than if volunteers were at home asleep and have to come in, but overall they are quite efficient.
Firefighters are exposed to the elements through training on a gradual. Local, regional and state monthly training is paid for by the department to insure the safety and experience of all firefighters before they are exposed to, or enter into, a real live structure fire or other serious event.
Retterath says, “It’s not just about fire fighting its about the enjoyment of the community and family as well. He adds “Of course the emphasis is on safety and training but we like to have fun too. In fact this last weekend there was a trap, golf and picnic for the firefighters families to enjoy. Commadery makes our team.” The department hosts several fundraising community events including a smoker and dance to aid in supporting the department and updating equipment. They also hold an annual awards banquet to celebrate the volunteers.
Retterath thanks those who employee the VC Fire Department's dedicated volunteers. He says most volunteers are not docked at all for responding to a call and employers are very understanding. He expresses, "Employers are a big part of the team, allowing the volunteers to take off and provide protection to the community. That's a big deal and we probably don't say thanks enough."
Applications can be picked up at Fire Station, located at 241 Third Avenue NE and can be reached at 701-845-3351 or by emailing gretterath@valleycity.us or www.valleycity.us.
Retterath concludes with saying, “This is a great organization filled with experience, brotherhood and helping to protect their family, friends and neighbors. Stop in or talk to a fireman you might know.”