Sharon Knebel, Staff Writer
Russell Volunteer firemen have 542 years of Accumulated Service
The Russell Fire Department currently has 30 dedicated volunteers who have accumulated 542 years of fighting fires and saving lives as first responders. The Department averages 70 to 80 calls a year. About half are grass and other fires. The other half are EMT/First Responder calls for health emergencies. The most recent fire extinguished by the Department was the kitchen fire at the Russell Sale Barn.
In addition to answering 911 calls, the members are busy throughout the year raising money for their various needs. Expanding the facility has been the focus of fundraising for the last few years. Two years ago the work began with the pouring of the cement floor. Last year the shell of the building was erected. This year work has begun on the inside, including electric, heating, insulation and liner steel.
Three grant awards from South Central Iowa Community Foundation helped with funding the expansion. The Department also held a cook-off at the Fall Festival, held their annual ham supper in April and conducted several raffles throughout the year.
Department Officers: Craig Alexander, Fire Chief; Brian Beaty, Assistant Chief; Jeff Neer, Captain; Mark McCurdy, Lieutenant; Chris Feehan, EMS Captain; Corey Paige, Secretary and Shawn Werts, Treasurer.