SARTELL -- Sayings like "stop, drop and roll" or "don't play with fire" are things our parents told us when we were kids. And while the Sartell Fire Department doesn't exactly play with fire, they are responsible for putting it out.

The Sartell Fire Department proudly protects over 15,000 people living in the City of Sartell and the Township of LeSauk.

The individuals that serve on the department are volunteers and are always on call in case an emergency should occur.


"It could be two in the morning, it could be when your on your way to work, it could be when you are out on a date with your wife," says Wayne Harrison, a fire fighter for 12 years. "When the pager goes off we all have that responsibility to drop what we are doing and be there."

Based on what the cities needs are, depends on what equipment the fire department will need. If they are close to lakes and rivers, rescue boats are required for that department, along with other standard items (jaws-of-life, water tanks, ladders, etc.)

The suits that they wear can weigh anywhere from 50-60 pounds. With all that extra weight as well as the heat from the flames it's important to always stay hydrated.

When at the site of a fire, one wrong move can be your last. That's why trusting the person next to you is such an important part of the job, especially when you can't see anything right in front of your face.

"It's really critical that when you get into a scary and changing situation that you can count on your fellow fire fighter," says Harrison. "We have some good trust in our department."

The Sartell Fire Department has a lot of young members on staff and a lot of equipment to learn so training is vital. Every month the team goes out and practices different drills so that when the time for an actual fire happens the motions and steps become second nature.

"A couple times a month we are doing different training scenarios. It can be medical training, running all the engine equiptment, working with all the different tools we use," says Harrison. "We're always training and refreshing on the tools that we have."

Fire Fighters take real pride in their work, and even though they may save a house it's the things they lose -- pictures -- that make the job tough.

"Even if you get a good save on a house and people lost things it's hard to go away and feel good about it, but you do the best you can," says Harrison.

Today fire departments are always look for people who are willing to invest in the the training and the community and become a volunteer fire fighter.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer fire fighter visit the Sartell Fire Department website.


Sartell Fire Department practice using the fire truck. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)
Sartell Fire Department practice using the fire truck. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)


“Everyday Heroes” is a weekly WJON News feature spotlighting those who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe.

More From AM 1240 WJON