Being a volunteer firefighter comes with an unexpected cost

Gas prices are hitting new records worldwide

OKOLONA, Miss. (WCBI)- People say something about it everyday now and it seems to only be getting worse. Gas prices are hitting new records worldwide.

Those prices are impacting people differently; especially local volunteers.

People that give their time like volunteer firefighters are also having to endure those prices to help those in their community; like Kenny Hall.

Hall was a volunteer for over a year before becoming a professional firefighter in May 2022. He said when he was volunteering, one thing kept him going.

“As a volunteer firefighter you take the time out of your day and put your own needs aside. Seeing the families, not necessarily the patient but seeing the family’s reaction to after you get their cousin or brother or whoever in the ambulance and get them gone you see the sigh of relief and especially the relief you see on the people’s faces when they see that you’re there,” said Hall.

Hall says his time and effort paid off in the long run because he got the position he wanted.

Okolona fire chief and fire coordinator for Monroe County Terry Tucker knows it takes a special person to use their free time to help those around them

“At four dollars and forty cents a gallon for gas now it’s asking a lot for a man to provide time for you and be on scene for three hours fighting a fire and then providing the money to get there,” said Tucker.

However he does whatever it takes for them and the rest of his staff in any way he can.

“Give them the tools they need to do their job the best they can. In the last few years we’ve changed over from pagers, all firemen used to have pagers, we now do it off the cell phones now,” said Tucker.

Tucker said that all of his volunteers have jobs, but majority are farmers and he appreciates their efforts while they’re with the department and away.

Tucker said between Monroe County and Okolona they deal with roughly 200 fires each year.

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