The Mandan Rural Fire Department is celebrating 50 years of service.
One of the department's charter members still serves today.
Reporter Sarah Gustin introduces you to the man who's dedicated years to one hot business.
In 1961, fires that were sparking up in the Mandan area were taking a little too long to get to.
(Emil Kalvoda / Mandan Rural Fire Department) "We decided something had to be done. We had to get our own fire department because the city was unable to help us."
Emil Kalvoda was one of 3 locals with a vision.
March 1962 the dream of having a Mandan Rural Fire Department became a reality.
(Emil Kalvoda / Mandan Rural Fire Department) "The main reason is that we have protection. We have our own fire department. We have firemen who will come out and they have done a very good job."
The department that started with 3 board members and 14 firefighters has more than doubled in size -- to 13 board members and more than 30 fire fighters.
All working to protect more than 700 sq miles within the Mandan area.
(Emil Kalvoda / Mandan Rural Fire Department) "I'm proud of our department. I am proud of what has happened in the last 50 years."
A half of a century later this charter member still serves today.
Kalvoda continues to serve on the board--a half a century commitment he says he doesn't regret.
(Emil Kalvoda / Mandan Rural Fire Department) "I just like the progress that we have made. I myself, have seen so much done. We have a good board and a good fire fighters. I am proud of them. And that to me is all that I asked for."
While the Mandan Rural Fire department is a half a century old---
this truck is brand new.
Last week this quick attack unit arrived at the department.
A truck like this costs about $90,000 dollars.
Fire Chief Lynn Gustin says the truck is a necessary addition to help his crew put out the more than 60 fires they fight each year.
(Lynn Gustin / Mandan Rural Fire Chief) "It's a grass fighting rig that can be used to get to a structure fire quickly. Plus it has our rescue equipment on it. The jaws of life for farm rescues or traffic accidents."
The new truck will be stationed at the department's second station in St. Anthony.