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Photo by Jim Muchlins Teri Hiveley has been a Ballaton firefighter and emergency medical technician for 28 years.

Balatan – The Balatan Highly family was instrumental in the city’s success in running the local fire department.

Terry Highly has been a Ballaton firefighter and emergency medical technician for 28 years. Her two sons, Jared and Jacob, are also Ballaton firefighters. The third son, Jordan, is a fireman in Tracy.

“My sons followed me” Said Terry Highly. “It simply came to our notice then. I am lucky to work with them. ”

There are a total of 18 firefighters in Balaton‌ and are looking for more. Hiveley said the department could cover much larger situations on its own than its current size.

“We have enough people available on weekdays and others who can respond at night and on weekends.” She says. “There will always be enough coverage. If we can get anything that takes more people, we will always call for mutual help.

Hiveley works in his role as an ambulance on his job as well as with Ballaton’s Fire and Ambulance crew. She works as a Support Services Manager at Avera Tyler.

She started working as an EMT in Russell. When her family moved to a farm near Balaton, she was immediately asked to help the community in an emergency response.

She decided to cross-train to the fire department to provide additional assistance. Ballaton has had female firefighters in recent years.

“I learned a lot from the old staff” Highly said. “They believed in me and had faith in my ability. I am now trying to do the same for our younger members.

She says it was one of her most memorable fires with a mutual help call from Marshall. The fire truck from the Marshall Department was wrecked when the grass caught fire faster than the crew could move its truck safely.

Other memorabilia include several different major accident scenes and a barn fire extinguished by firefighters hay.

“We had to climb over Bales in full gear to reach the fire.” She says. “We put a lot of effort before we put it out there.”

She finds satisfaction in helping people with the challenges they face by looking at friends and neighbors who have faced emergencies.

Another important gift that is part of the fire department is that the firefighters are constantly providing assistance to each other. The department meets regularly for training everyone they encounter while responding to calls.

“We are like a family” Highly said. “We all know each other very well. We are a cohesive group with the main goal of being there for everyone in our service area.

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