3/2/2017 4:38:00 PM Want to volunteer? Fire crews need you
A training exercise was held in Almelund last weekend allowing for area fire departments to practice skills and test equipment.
Several area fire departments’ personnel participated in a training burn in Almelund last weekend. The house burn was overseen by Center City and Almelund departments. It may have looked like there were lots of firefighters who turned out for the exercise, but there is a shortage of firefighters in this county that all the departments are dealing with, and the problem with lack of volunteers is worsening. Some departments have gone to paid on-call volunteers, some increased the pension payout per year of services. There is a need for firefighters who are available to answer calls in daytime.
Center City Chief Jim Marxer tells the Press many of the departments in this county struggle to get new volunteers. The older firefighters start to retire and there are fewer people to replace them, he said.
The reason behind this is multi-faceted. The time commitment to be a firefighter is substantial, Marxer said a trainee cold spend a couple nights a week, the first six months, attending classes.
The fact that this is an emergency service and there is no set hours doesn’t help. Marxer added that many people don’t even know their city has its own fire department.