By Tim Kowols
A program getting high school students involved in volunteer fire departments is paying off big dividends for the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department. Of the eight new members the BUG Fire Department has been able to recruit over the last 12 months, half of them went through a joint program at Southern Door School District starting as juniors. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says it is a trend more volunteer departments should look into in the future.
Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department has a similar program with Gibraltar Area School District as both organization battle a nationwide trend of volunteers aging out with not enough people stepping up to replace them.