SILVER LAKE ,Kan. (KSNT) — After years of trying, the Shawnee County Fire Department District #1 is about to expand. By the end of the year the new station will join this already existing station.
“It will have sleeping quarters in it, fill living quarters in it and it will have a new standard station,” said Lt. Jim Yettes, Silver Lake Fire Dept.
The new station expands the coverage area – and will reduce response times to emergencies.
The problem is, the department doesn’t have enough people to staff the new station. That’s because Silver Lake depends on a special breed of firefighters … volunteers.
“It’s very rewarding when you help someone,” said Lt. Steven Peak, EMS Silver Lake Fire Dept.
Steven Peak is one of those volunteers. He and his fellow firefighters know how tough it is to get volunteers.
“Regular firefighters have a set shift and they live at the fire station…. whereas we have a pager, we don’t live at the fire station and when the pager goes off we come if we are available,” said Yettes.
It’s not just about fighting fires and taking care of accident victims.
“My most rewarding thing here at the department was that I got to deliver a baby once,” said Peak.
It’s that kind of motivation that has officials hoping they can find another two-dozen or so volunteers in coming months.
If you would like to become a local volunteer firefighter call 1-800-FIRE-LINE or contact your local fire department.