LANSFORD, N.D. (KXNET) — KX News likes to thank local organizations and entities in the community.

For this month’s KX Gives Back, we visited the Lansford Fire Department to see how things are going in their new fire hall and speak about their annual fundraising event that’s coming up.

The Lansford Fire Department is a volunteer fire department, which means none of the firefighters are paid.

“We have approximately 30 volunteer firefighters from the community. Area farmers, people who’ve lived here in Lansford, and also the military personnel that donate their time,” said Kris Stratton, a firefighter, and EMT.

And while many fire departments around the country are having trouble finding firefighters, Lansford maintains around 20-30 firefighters at any given time.

Stratton says usually when people leave the department, they’re either in the military or they’re headed to college.

“When one has orders to leave, they actually bring in a couple of their friends and such and try to get them in to take their place. We always bring up new volunteers from the ranks so for example, the high schoolers and everything. So once they become of age and go to college, we’ve got that new recruitment coming in from the high schools,” said Stratton.

And with a revolving list of volunteers, it’s no surprise that a new fire hall was needed.

Lansford’s new fire hall was completed last year, and things are still being moved over from the old building.

“As you saw all throughout the fire hall, we’re also trying to figure out where to put everything because we’ve got so much more room than the old fire hall. I mean, when we got this one, it actually expanded it by at least four or five times,” said Stratton.

One of the ways that the department paid for the fire hall was the annual snowmobile drag race and vintage sled show.

“60-80 sleds that come. Anywhere from 700-800 people will show up. Last year we had snowmobiles that were running on grass for 500 feet and they were going about 95 miles an hour,” said Matt Undlin, the fire chief.

Money is fundraised by the admission fee and the costs to join the races.

Undlin says the races are open to all that want to participate.

“Anybody can participate in it. We have several classes of snowmobile races. Some of the out-of-state guys are bringing 1000CC+ but the local guys are just bringing their sled, their average sled, just come out for a good time,” said Undlin.

And while Undlin does like having fun, he says the most important thing for him, is to keep his crew safe.

“The number one goal of our volunteer fire department, is at the end of our goals, that we send our firemen home safely, and put the boots back on.”

The third annual snowmobile drag race and vintage sled show will be happening on October 15.

Courtesy: Lansford Fire Department

While in Lansford, KX News Reporters Jordan Rodriguez and Lauren Davis brought lunches to the volunteer firefighters as a way to say thanks.

They also talked with the firefighters about why they decided to join the department and took a tour of the new fire hall.