A North Mississippi Volunteer Fire Department is in need of volunteer firefighters
WEBSTER COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — The county has nine volunteer fire departments and only 150 volunteer firefighters. In the event of an emergency, a certain number of volunteers are needed to respond.
For that reason, they’d like to find 50 more volunteer firefighters.
Webster County EMA Director Barry Rushing said right now, the need for more volunteers is crucial.
“We are in terribly need of firefighters,” said Rushing.
When responding to a scene, Rushing said they need six to eight volunteers to get the job done. Most volunteer firefighters have other jobs. top that with not enough volunteers, only half of the number of people needed at an emergency situation shows up.
“Everyone has jobs and when people are on their job and they get a call, most employers will not let that person leave their job to respond to a fire.,” said Rushing.
When there aren’t enough people to assist, Rushing said they start calling in neighboring fire departments.
“There has been a time where I have called to different fire departments, and you dispatch to all the ones you have access to, then you go to counties,” said Rushing.
Deputy fire coordinator Tom Booth said there’s not always a lot of interest from people wanting to join. Something than can hinder the time it takes to get you the help you need.
“You’ve got someone that is in need and you’re having to make the call and a lot of times you will have to rely on other neighboring fire departments to come out and assist with personnel,” said Booth.
Though it’s a tough job, Booth said it’s also one that’s rewarding.
“It’s a wonderful experience,” said Booth. “If you have never been apart of anything like this, it is something like you could never imagine. It is a family, it is a comradery, something like you could never imagine until you become a part of it.”
If you are interested in volunteering, Rushing said to contact your local fire department for more information.