The Bangor Burns and West Salem Volunteer Fire Departments are seeking volunteers to fill vacancies and day shifts this month with both departments finding it difficult to get candidates to sign up.

Bangor Firefigher TC Allen said the department is seeking more than a dozen men and women to join their roster. The department protects nearly 100 square miles and fields 80-90 calls a year. Allen, who is in charge of recruitment for the department, said it has been difficult to find people willing to volunteer.

He said a lot of volunteers work in La Crosse making it challenging for them to get back to the department in an emergency.

“It’s definitely a challenge, especially during the day,” he said.

Allen said the department could use anyone who takes pride in their community and wants to get involved.

“We have guys and gals of all shapes and sizes,” he said, adding that the department needs more young people to join.

The department needs 18 new volunteers to fill the 52-member roster, Allen explained.

“We would love to have a full roster,” he said.

The West Salem fire department is also seeking additional volunteers to cover daytime shifts.

Firefighter Scott Johnson said the department has four openings on its 36 member roster.

The West Salem Fire Department, which covers West Salem and the towns of Burns and Hamilton has struggled to find volunteers willing to work day shifts in recent years.

Both Bangor and West Salem require volunteers to live within the department’s fire district and complete three training courses including both entry-level firefighting programs in addition to Firefighter Certification 1. The classes are regularly offered by Western Technical College at no charge.

To get involved with Bangor Burns Fire Department contact the station at 608-486-2964, or by searching Bangor Burns Fire Department on Facebook.

For more information on getting involved with the West Salem Volunteer Fire Department contact Fire Chief Greg Hutson at


Tobias Mann is a reporter with the River Valley Media Group. He can be reached at or at 608-791-8216.

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