Volunteer Firefighters Are Asset To Community - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Volunteer Firefighters Are Asset To Community

Volunteer firefighters make up more than 73% of all firefighters in the United States.

But with an increase in fire department calls, volunteer personnel are being forced to do more with less.

Volunteer fire chief Glen Sellier said, "Right now, a lot of our members have pagers instead of voice with a hand-held radio, and you cannot communicate with them except by sending a page and cancel."

John Storey has been a volunteer firefighter for more than 10 years. He began his training as a 14-year old, so it's safe to say he has a love for the job. He even wears T-shirts with a "fire" theme.

 "It's a very tough and demanding job. You know, getting called out at all hours of the night and day. It's a lot of stuff we see that a lot of people don't," Storey said.

But he said it gives him and his friends an adrenaline rush. These men have more than 20 years of service between them. They say the opportunity to serve their community is the main reason for without pay. But, sometimes, the community can extend beyond helping humans.

"We've gone on several different kinds of calls, as far as cats being in trees and we get cats out of trees, wrecks, just small things, people cutting their fingers, and things like that," volunteer firefighter Daniel Welsh said.

If volunteer firemen were paid for their services, it would cost taxpayers more than 30 billion dollars a year.

By Karla Redditte

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