McCOOK, Nebraska -- Fire Chief Marc Harpham recalls that in 1984, the fire department had three full time people, compared to nine in 2010. "We relied heavily on our volunteers then, requiring them at times to make several meetings a week, respond to more calls than we require per week today and the paperwork our personnel in general were required to do was very time consuming," he said.
While Harpham noted the paperwork requirements, even with technological advances, has actually increased over the years, the full time staff has assumed much of that responsibility, relieving demands put on the volunteers. "We were burning out volunteers at a rapid pace and a change needed to be made" Harpham added. The current full time staff has led to much great retention and a higher quality of volunteer. "We are able to keep the good ones around and our volunteer waiting list has now been full for the past 10 years."
City Council approved a proclamation earlier this week that designated May 16-22 as Emergency Medical Services Week, in celebration of the achievements of the local EMS community.