The Monkey Island Fire Department on Grand Lake has been a volunteer fire department since 1989 but they have now hired several full-time firefighters to help respond to emergencies.
“This year so far, we are about eighty calls ahead of what we were last year,” said Chief Carl Tesreau.
Chief Carl Tesreus, who took the first full-time position in 2004, said folks who plan to come out to Grand Lake for the first time this summer, need to be careful.
“This lake is dangerous to people who don’t know the lake, a lot bigger water, and waves than they think,” Tesreus said.
However, Chief Tesreus said they’ve never been more ready to respond to emergencies than they are right now, after hiring four new full-time employees this month, making it a total of eight full-time firefighters on Monkey Island.
Grand Lake is about a mile from the fire department. With more full-time employees, Chief Tesreus said they’re able to roll out of there within a minute.
His son, Justin who began volunteering here in 2013, is one of the new full-time additions.
“I’m a paramedic as well so I try to train on my skill set to be able to provide advance life support,” said Justin Tesreus.
About ninety percent of their calls are medical. However, for emergencies out of the water, Justin said they have their fireboat that’s ready to respond.
“The training aspect, that’s one thing about having more full-timers, we are able to get more involved with the community,” said Justin Tesreus.
Chief Tesreus said with the increased traffic going on and no shoulder lanes in the area, they ask that drivers slow down, so they can drive their fire truck around them.