DUNCAN, Neb. -- Duncan Fire and Rescue is now adding their own EMS services starting May 1. After a longtime EMS partnership with Columbus Fire and Rescue, Duncan Fire and Rescue is scrambling to support its own program. 

“A little over a year ago, we were informed by Columbus that they can no longer serve our EMS protection without being compensated,” said Dustin Schaefer, Duncan Fire and Rescue Chief. “We decided to just take it on ourselves to start up an EMS program.

This does not mean that Columbus is completely out of the picture. If crews are already busy assisting with one situation, Columbus will support the community of Duncan and vice versa. 

“We're ready to go, but we're looking for additional tools, you know, that's a little bit above the standard need,” Schaefer said. 

Additional tools can cost more than $60,000. These include a LUCUS Device, a tool used to give CPR compressions, as well as a cardiac monitor among other things. 

“As emergency providers, we always have probably one of the hardest times asking for help,” Patrick Siemek said, EMS Chief.  

Another issue that small fire departments face is the number of volunteers needed to step up. Fortunately, Duncan has had nine, which is what EMS Chief Patrick Siemek, calls extraordinary. 

“EMS is definitely not for everyone,” Siemek said. “There are chances that you'll see some things that kind of upset normal people to where you do have to have a little bit extra ‘in-the-tank kind of thing’ that takes on some calls.”

“I just want to thank the people that are taking the empty classes, it's hard to get people to volunteer for anything, and they've put in hundreds of hours,” said Brian Oppliger, President of the Rural Board. 

The town of Duncan will be holding many events to help the fundraising for the new equipment and fire department expansion.