The Minot Fire Department has hit an all time record, but not a record they ever expected, or wanted, to break.
They are not only having trouble recruiting firefighters, but retaining them.
More now on how the Minot Fire Department is fighting a problem that continues to flare up...
In the past, when a firefighter was hired at the Minot Fire Department, they were a career employee... but that has changed.
In just the last couple of years, Minot fire has lost more than six of their most experienced firefighters.
Some have retired and some have moved, but more are leaving for jobs in the oil industry...
"We train our firefighters in hazardous materials and emergency medicine and that translates very well to oil field safety companies. So there are jobs out there that pay more and its causing us a lot of concern in losing our most experienced guys."
Losing so many experienced personnel is hitting the department hard.
Calls are already up 10 percent this year, calls a fire department relies heavily on experienced personnel to respond to.
"in the past the Minot fire was one of the most stable in the city and they rely on that and experienced personnel. Just last week we had a house collapse and somebody trapped. Those are the kind of calls that happen once or twice in a career and you have to have experienced personnel in technical rescue situations in order to deal with them, so you have to find a way to somehow keep our experienced personnel."
The department spends a lot of time and money to train their personnel, so to lose those trained men and women makes every situation more difficult, and dangerous for the firefighters.
"one of the real challenges is not only have enough people here, but having the right people here. we cant' send out the rescue truck to a car accident with 2- one year firefighters in it. We have to have the senior people to work with the. So it is becoming a struggle to man every vehicle with experience people everyday."
Out of 46 firefighters, 20 have less than 2 years experience and 8 with less than a year experience at the Minot Fire Department.
They are currently short 3 personnel and are working diligently to fill those positions to continue to protect the citizens of the Magic City.
In Minot, Alysia Huck, KX News.
They are now working with the city council and civil service on the pay plan this year to try to retain the firefighters they have, and recruit more.