Waveland firefighters volunteer to work without pay

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - In the latest attempt to get the city of Waveland out of the red city leaders instituted massive staffing cuts leaving only one firefighter on duty at a time.

Firefighter David Dear's shift was Friday, but that didn't stop him from reporting to work Saturday.

"I'm coming in today to help out the fellow fireman, the only fireman that's on duty. I know it's going to be tough for him," Dear said.

Before Friday, three firefighters were on duty at a time.

"The first thing I thought for myself was my pay is going to be cut; I'm going to be missing some time. I have a wife and three young children that I have to pay for, a mortgage," Dear said.

But despite Dear's financial worries, he will not be hanging up his hat.

"I could just up and go and start looking for a job that's more steady, more reliable, but I'm a fireman and once a fireman always a fireman. We look out for our fellow peers and our city and that's the service I'd like to provide," Dear explained.

The loyalty of these men have made their chief proud.

Fire Chief Mike Smith said, "It's really impressive how their character showed through because they had the option of only three firefighters working their normal shift.,or they could divide it up amongst all nine. And that's what they did. All the rest of them have volunteered to come in and respond to calls for free."

Dear said, "There will be as many that were on duty, if not more, that are now going to show up and help out that one single fireman to put out the fire or take care of the lives that is in the car accident."

Smith said, "I just want to make sure the citizens understand, we are here we are not going anywhere."

Both men say another thing is for certain, the city will eventually turn around.

Dear said, "The now present mayor and board, I commend them for making these hard decisions. They are the ones that have been looked bad upon now, but in the long run, in a few years or how ever long it takes, the city will come out of this. And they will be the heroes in this whole mess."

So will these men who give up their time to be at work without pay.

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