Since 1971, The Wapello County Rural Fire Department has been serving the five townships that surround Ottumwa. They are one of the largest volunteer fire departments in southeast Iowa and one of the busiest.
â??Last year we had around 310 calls, and those calls consist of all categories. We respond to house fires, grass fires, vehicles fires, vehicle accidents and medical calls,â?? said Chief Bryan Ziegler.
Ziegler has been at the held of the department for six months. He and his staff are now planning for the future, recruiting new volunteer firefighters to serve with the department.
â??We are especially interested in daytime people. The reason is, several of our guys are working in the daytime, and that is the need that we have at this time,â?? Ziegler said.
According to Ziegler, it is not only Wapello County that needs more volunteers, the need is everywhere, including neighboring departments within the county.
â??Really the thing that needs to be happening in the rural counties and rural fire departments is that they need to be recruiting new members. So this does not only apply to us here,â?? Ziegler said.
Chief Ziegler says that they are not just looking for anyone to join the department. Candidates must be able to make a time commitment to the community, as well as know that in return, they have helped someone in need.
Training for new candidates is required and provided by the department.
To apply, Chief Ziegler asks that you send a resume to
, or to their address at 714 W. Mary Street, Ottumwa, IA 52501.