by Nick Magoteaux

Fighting fire in a rural environment is much different than fighting fire in an urban or suburban environment. Firefighters face many challenges in the rural setting, like lack of water, extended response time, and lack of manpower, just to name a few. Unlike urban or suburban area, rural areas do not have hydrants so this means firefighters must bring water to fight the fire. Many rural fire departments depend on volunteer firefighters, which in many cases respond from home to the fire station and then go to the fire. This factor and distance from the firehouse can lead to extended response times. Finally, and almost most importantly, is the lack of manpower. Volunteerism is unfortunately slowly dwindling away putting a strain on volunteer fire departments.

According to the United States Fire Administration, volunteer firefighters have declined by 13% or more. This has caused many fire departments to resort to hiring fire and EMS personnel to staff the station during the day or around the clock. This leaves many departments struggling to operate. Many volunteer or part time fire departments struggle to purchase or replace needed equipment due to tight budgets. Federal resources are drying up and taxpayers are less likely to approve higher funding for fire departments. This leaves these volunteer or part time fire departments in a bind.

Many firefighters can attest that they often don’t have the proper tools to do their job, but in a job where you improvise, adapt, and overcome, they make it work. There are many newer tools and equipment that can make firefighting more efficient or time saving. In a job where seconds counts, wouldn’t you want your fire department to have those newer, more efficient tools? That’s where Brothers Helping Brothers steps in. Brothers Helping Brothers specializes in helping the small and rural departments who are struggling to operate.

Brothers Helping Brothers is a 501c3 non-profit organization that works with firefighting equipment manufacturers and distributors to obtain tools and equipment at a lower rate, and grants them to struggling small and rural fire departments. Brothers Helping Brothers is completely funded by private donations. You can help struggling fire departments by donating to Brothers Helping Brothers.

  • By donating just $10 per month, you can put a new axe or hand tool in the hands of a firefighter that needs it to battle a blaze. That’s only 33¢ a day.
  • By donating just $25 per month, you can outfit a firefighter with a new set of boots, which may have been desperately needed to be replaced. That’s only 83¢ a day.
  • By donating just $50 per month, you can purchase the Jaws of Life enabling that department to save a victim from an auto accident. That’s only $1.66 a day.

Donating just $100 per month can purchase a new SCBA air pack for a department who maybe using out dated one and with that air pack a firefighter could perform a rescue during a fire safely. That’s only $3.33 a day.

To learn more about Brothers Helping Brothers, or to how you can help. Please visit their website at


Nick PicNick Magoteaux has been in public safety for over 15 years. Nick has experience in law enforcement, dispatching, firefighting, and emergency medical service. Nick currently works for four different fire departments in Southwest Ohio, including the busiest fire department per capita in the state. Nick is also the founder and co-executive director of Brothers Helping Brothers, a fire service 501c3 non-profit that specializes in equipment grants to small and rural fire department in the U.S. Contact Nick at

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