Successful recruitment helps create strong Junior Firefighters program with local department

By Linda Trest, Staff Writer
Posted 5/12/21

The members of the Gerald-Rosebud Fire Department get paid for none of what they do. Whether it is fighting fires, working motor vehicle accidents, assisting EMS, administering fire prevention …

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Successful recruitment helps create strong Junior Firefighters program with local department

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The members of the Gerald-Rosebud Fire Department get paid for none of what they do. Whether it is fighting fires, working motor vehicle accidents, assisting EMS, administering fire prevention programs or spending hours in training, they do it all for free. 

Some of them have willingly taken on another volunteer job: mentoring teenagers. The Junior Firefighters program has been steadily growing.

Deputy Fire Chief Justin Haase says the program shows that the volunteer service will continue into the next generation.

“These kids also demonstrate a wealth of community pride and jump at any chance to help,” Haase adds.

It also gives the kids something to do in towns that offer few other options. 

Senior firefighters Hayden Schoenfeld, Shelby Clark and Taylor Smith are charged with overseeing the program. 

Keeping the junior program going isn’t easy or free, but the whole department pitches in to make it happen. 

On Saturday, May 1, the juniors set up a stand in Rosebud for Treasure’s Day. They sold donuts in the morning and barbecue for lunch. Their efforts (and the generosity of their customers) earned them over $3,000. 

This money will be used to purchase safety gear, training materials, equipment and training classes. 

The juniors hope to add to their balance by selling Krispy Kremes and chocolate milk at the Small Animal Swap this Saturday, May 15 in Legion Park. 

There are currently nine junior firefighters listed with the district, but the group is always growing. Only a few of them have family connections with the department. 

The juniors are learning many things from their mentors. One of the best, is learning the value of community service. 

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