Posted By: BriAna Campbell

The majority of fire crews in Nebraska run on volunteers, and Lancaster County is no exception.

"Choose to get involved in your community, choose to give back," said Tim Norris of Bennet Fire & Rescue.

Malcolm, Bennet, Raymond, and Firth fire and rescue teams have had a busy past few months, and with more emergencies, comes the need for more personnel.

Volunteers are the key.

In the rural areas of Lancaster County, volunteerism is the basis of all emergency rescue crews.

"People move out to the county, and they think, 'Someone's going to take care of me'. Well, you're going to have to take care of yourself, you're going to have to get involved," said Norris. 

Volunteering isn't a new concept.

Fire Chief Doug Doeschot says when he joined Firth Fire and Rescue, volunteering was the norm.

"If you had a heartbeat, you were on the fire department – everybody was willing to help back then," explained Doeschot. 

It's not hard to get involved, whether you want to be an EMT, a firefighter, or both.

All you have to do is pick up the phone and call.

Volunteers say even though they aren't paid, serving their small communities in this way has the biggest rewards.

"I've had people come up to me on the street and give me a hug and say, 'You came and took care of my mom, you took care of my son that one time on that call and I just want to tell you thank you", and that to me...I don't need anything else," said Bennet Fire Chief Dax Boyte. 

To get involved, here are the numbers for the rural fire and rescue departments:

Malcolm Fire & Rescue:(402) 796-2490

Raymond Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department: (402) 783-3251

Bennet Fire & Rescue: (402) 782-6195

Firth Fire Department: 402-560-1769

Waverly Fire & Rescue - (402) 786-3055

Southeast Fire & Rescue - (402) 483-7725

Hickman Fire & Rescue - (402) 792-2815

Southwest Fire & Rescue - (402) 423-0230

Hallam Fire & Rescue - (402) 787-2235

Valpraiso Fire & Rescue - (402) 784-3090

Pleasant Dale Fire & Rescue - (402) 795-3250

Eagle Fire & Rescue - (402) 781-2745