Why the Brigade was Formed
Lake Vermilion has 1200 miles of shoreline; over the years its shores have been the sites of several fire and rescue emergencies. Previously, those incidents were reported through 911 with local volunteer agencies traveling up to 30 miles by road to get to emergencies. Many areas are water-access only which required the VFD to find borrowed boats to travel to the emergency.
How the Brigade was Formed
During the fall of 2008 a group of residents met to discuss the forming of an organization which could raise funds to purchase a fire boat for the west end of the lake. They met with several agencies including the D.N.R., U.S. Forest Service, St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department, Cook VFD, Cook EMS Services and the Lake Vermilion Resort Association. All of these agencies were eager to support the purchase of a Fire & Rescue boat. Additional residents began supporting the organization and thus, the Lake Vermilion Fire Brigade was created.
What has Happened so Far:
On January 9, 2009 the Lake Vermilion Fire Brigade was officially incorporated as a Minnesota Non-Profit Corporation. Fundraising began, and enough money was raised to purchase a custom-made, fully equipped 32’ Fire & Rescue watercraft. A second 26’ boat has been donated and is used to carry additional personnel and equipment to emergency incidents. Twenty-one volunteers, who are trained as boat and equipment operators, man the fireboats. Both of the boats are now available and on call 24/7 on the west end of the lake, to help support all local, county and state Fire & Rescue agencies.
Managed and operated by volunteers, the Board of Directors is made up of concerned citizens. The Brigade works with an Advisory Board of the agencies listed above, who provide professional council and advice. The Fire Brigade’s operating expenses (training, equipment, etc.) are funded through donation.