North Dakota Oil Patch Firefighters too Busy for Fundraiser

October 14, 2014

A volunteer fire department in the western North Dakota oil patch is so busy that it doesn’t have time for its annual Halloween haunted house fundraiser.

The fire department in Burlington has hosted a haunted house the past five years. The event brought in about $10,000 each year for the department in the city of about 1,050 people west of Minot.

The department has 25 firefighters and eight teenage junior firefighters. The volunteers say they don’t have time for a haunted house this year because of oil-related activity such as traffic crashes and hazardous material incidents, along with the necessary preparation work.

“With the extra training and stuff, we are sending people one, two days a week to different trainings for stuff and meetings,” department spokesman Karter Lesmann told KXMC-TV. “I don’t know, it’s not really volunteer anymore.”

The department did keep its scheduled annual pancake breakfast fundraiser over the weekend.

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