Lowndes county fire department needs more volunteers
LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Volunteer Firefighters are usually first on scene for car accidents and house fires.
It’s a critical job to have in the community when an emergency happens.
However, across the country, there is a shortage of volunteer firemen and it’s no different for Lowndes County.
“It’s just a bigger chance of not getting help when you need it,” District 3 Fire Chief Wayne Doyle.
First responders work around the clock.
Doyle said the staffing is at an all-time low.
“It depends on the time of day. Nighttime, we get more of them. Like the Fish and Blues, we had about 12 people until about 6 o’clock in the morning, about half of them had to leave and go to work,” said Doyle.
Most fire volunteers have other jobs during the day.
When an emergency happens, finding someone to respond can be a challenge.
“It’s dangerous if we don’t have enough people to fight the fires, you know, we can’t do what we got to do safely. If we can’t do it safely, we’re not going to do it,” said Doyle.
On Friday, the department went to Fish and Blues restaurant for a massive fire.
For nearly 13 hours, volunteer firefighters worked to put out hot spots and flare-ups.
“The ones that are left on the calls, they just have to do whatever they can do. You know, we can’t send anybody inside if we don’t have enough people to back them up. We got a two-in-two-out policy so if we don’t have enough people there, nobody can go it. We have to fight it off from the outside,” said Doyle.
While the department is trying to solve this shortage issue, Chief Doyle said without a minimum number of firemen, citizens could be in potential danger.
“Right now, we can call the city for help, we can call another district for help if we need it. Though we do have a backup, it’s going to take them a while to get here,” said Doyle.
Contact the Lowndes County Fire Department for more information about volunteer opportunities.