I have been a volunteer firefighter since the year 2000. Of the more than One Million firefighters in the United States, the vast majority of them are volunteer (over 70%). Over 90% of fire departments in the State of Iowa are staffed completely by volunteer firefighters (90.7%)? Another 5.5% of Iowa fire departments are considered “mostly volunteer” (the majority of firefighters are volunteer and not paid). Only four states have a greater percentage of all volunteer fire departments: Nebraska (92.7%), North Dakota (92.4%), South Dakota (92.5%), and West Virginia (91.3%). Iowans volunteer and place their lives on the line for the safety of others for no other reason than to serve. They do not receive much in return, except the knowledge that they have done what needed to be done. The mission of the fire service is simple: Save lives, protect property. In order to accomplish this goal, firefighters, especially volunteers, need your financial support. Please remember to support your volunteer fire departments with donations, taxes, maybe even a hot meal. And, if you feel called, consider joining up. You wont regret your service!