Number of Fire Volunteers Dwindling
Hazle Township — It’s an emergency. You smell smoke, your house catches fire. You dial 911 and expect crews to be at your door. What if there weren’t enough people to man the call? The decrease in man power, it’s an issue volunteer fire departments are facing around the nation. According to the United State’s Fire Administration, Pennsylvania has the 4th highest amount of registered volunteer and mostly Volunteer Fire Departments in the country. Pennsylvania provides millions of dollars each year to volunteers services, still many people go unpaid. Hazle Township’s volunteer building was quiet Thursday morning. Many of the unpaid fire rescue volunteers have other jobs. They lend their free time to fighting fires.
“Some people are more active than others. You’re going to get a lot more people for bigger calls,” said Marsicano.
However, Deputy Fire Chief, Matthew Marsicano said there are also everyday normal calls where fewer volunteers show up to. Hours of training, fundraisers, work detail it can be overwhelming and act as a deterrent. To try and combat the low volunteer support, many departments have called on one another for help. It’s not just about running into a burning building, this fire department needs volunteers. If you are interested in helping Hazle Fire department you can stop by their headquarters on church street or check out their website.