My stepdad worked for years as a volunteer firefighter and EMT. Quite regularly his pager or police scanner would go off, and he'd run out the front door and down the block to the fire station. That was back in the 90s and there were a lot of people in town that were on the volunteer fire department. Fast-forward to today, and the entire country is in a really bad spot when it comes to volunteers.

There's a shortage of volunteer firefighters. There are many factors to it, but the biggest one is that people don't want to give up their free time. We'll get to more on that later.

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97% of Minnesotans Rely On Volunteer Firefighters

Roughly 97% of Fire Departments in Minnesota rely on volunteer firefighters. What happens if nobody is on call when you need help? It's become such a serious issue that some fire departments are changing from volunteer to paid on-call positions. Still, it's hard to find people.

Albert Floyd
Albert Floyd
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Why aren't people volunteering?

Kare11 reports that there are a few reasons that volunteer numbers are down. The main reason is people don't want to give up their free time. Another is the fact that cancer rates are higher for firefighters. There's also been a spike in post-traumatic stress disorder.

LightFieldStudios
LightFieldStudios
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How can you volunteer?

If you are healthy and in good physical condition, you can help out. There are some requirements that you can read up on from the VolunteerFirefighter.org website. While it's considered a volunteer commitment, some departments do offer some pay or benefits. Contact your local fire department for more information.

Read More: 18 Counties Face Severe Fire Threat In Minnesota

LOOK: Things from the year you were born that don't exist anymore

The iconic (and at times silly) toys, technologies, and electronics have been usurped since their grand entrance, either by advances in technology or breakthroughs in common sense. See how many things on this list trigger childhood memories—and which ones were here and gone so fast you missed them entirely.

Gallery Credit: Stacey Marcus

 

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