The Madison Fire Department will now be a 32-member department, after a request for the increase was approved by the city commission.
On Monday night, commissioners heard from Fire Chief Randy Minnaert. who requested the increase in the number of volunteer firefighters on behalf of his department.
The department currently has 30 members, including himself.
Minnaert explained that in the department’s current bylaws, volunteers are given two years to become certified and trained firefighters. The department added two firefighters recently who will be attending classes in Brookings within the next three weeks. The additional two volunteers they would take on could attend classes with the previous two, he said.
Minnaert also said that there is a cutoff age for firefighters.
“We will have a couple (of firefighters) retire within the next year or two because our bylaws do read that at the age of 65, you got to get off the fire department,” he said. “We’d just like to get them up and running and get them all certified and trained before we lose a couple more before the next year or two.”
Minnaert said that fire departments vary in size but that most departments in Lake County have between 25 and 30 firefighters.