Binder Lift a good purchase for Rescue 

Photo by Barbie Porter
The Vergas fire department went on 39 calls in 2021, compared to 40 in 2020.

By Barbie Porter


The Candor-Hobart-Dora-Vergas Fire and Rescue Board held its annual meeting on Feb. 1, and the calls logged were reviewed.

During the monthly Vergas City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 9, the report was discussed by Mayor Julie Bruhn. She noted the fire department responded to 39 fire calls in 2021, compared to 40 in 2020. 

She said the three calls that were in the majority of responses in 2021 included grass fires, 10,  grass and brush mixture fires accounted for another three and eight calls were responding to structures on fire.

“There were 11 mutual aid calls,” Bruhn noted, adding four were to Dent, three to Frazee, three to Detroit Lakes and one to Perham.

The fire department membership has held steady with 24 on the crew.

Bruhn said during the annual meeting it was noted the department is facing increased costs, which is impacting the budget. She said the firefighters are looking to purchase four sets of gear this year and found costs increased. Last year the cost was $1,200 and this year, $1,600 for gear.

To help cover costs, Bruhn noted there was a previously approved three percent budget increase for the fire department for 2022.

As for the rescue squad, Bruhn noted they responded to 90 fires in 2021, which was consistent with the year prior.

The majority of responses in 2021 included medical (33 percent) and 26 percent had to do with falls.

The report provided a breakdown of where the rescue squad responded for the calls in 2021. The township of Hobart had 35 calls, Candor, 20, Dora, 10, Lida, 1, and in the city of Vergas there were 24 calls.

The rescue squad has 15 members, of which four are also firefighters. It was note three retirements in 2021 occurred, and two members were recruited. The reported noted more members are being sought, but no retirement benefits make increased participation more of a challenge.

Bruhn also noted the report states the rescue squad purchased a Binder Lift in 2021, which assists in lifting patients from the ground and it has been effective.

To close the report, it was stated the annual audit was completed on Jan. 31 with no issues found.