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Seven join West Fargo Fire Department

These seven men recently became West Fargo firefighters. Back row, from left, Justin Donley, Zach Banister, Michael Hawley, Scott Berge. Front row, Scott Johnson, Mark Paler, Joe Johnson. Submitted photo

The West Fargo Fire Department recently added seven members to its roster.

Justin Donley, Zach Banister, Michael Hawley, Scott Berge, Scott Johnson, Mark Paler and Joe Johnson recently joined the fire department after a year of training.

“They all have spent their probationary year getting to know the ins and outs of the fire service and the department they will serve on,” Fire Chief Roy Schatschneider said. “Besides the in-house training, they all attended the State Fire School that was held in Minot earlier this year and some attended regional fire schools that were held in both North Dakota and Minnesota.”

The rookie firemen also completed classroom and skill training, which will allow them to obtain a Firefighter I certification in North Dakota.

Hawley will become the fourth generation of his family to serve as a firemen and a third-generation member of the West Fargo department. His father, Kevin Hawley, has served as a fireman for 30 years, Schatschneider said.

Schatschneider said three fulltime firefighters including himself and 38 volunteer firefighters now comprise the department.

Schatschneider said he would like to have a staff of 45 total firefighters.

“We’re always taking applications,” he said. “We’re comfortable at 41, but in the near future we may have some retirements and we’d start actively recruiting.”