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Fire departments in trouble with older staff

As I watch the Alpena Township personnel problem play out, I hope the community realizes this is not isolated to Alpena Township only. Most volunteer fire departments in our area are having the same issue finding and keeping personnel. I have been on the Sanborn Township Fire Department for over 38 years and witnessed this firsthand.The average age of most of these departments continues to increase because there are not enough younger people volunteering to replace the older personnel. I believe over the next decade this will become a crisis for the good people who rely on local volunteer fire departments in their time of need.

We have been blessed in Sanborn Township with extraordinarily strong support from our community and township board. We have the best equipment we ever had during my time on the department and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I also have to say that we were blessed to have the City of Alpena as our ambulance service for Alpena County. I have the highest respect for what they do for the people of Alpena County.

To help people in their time of need is rewarding and I have enjoyed every minute of my journey. However, as I get closer to the day when I no longer can serve my community, it reminds me of an old country song, “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?”

RANDY BEAUDOIN,

Ossineke

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