Fire department seeks volunteersPublished 12:40pm Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The New Site Fire Department wants to spark some interest in volunteer firefighting.
“Anybody that’s interested in helping out the community or lending a helping hand is needed at this point,” said Fire Chief Jimmy Thompson.
All New Site firefighters are volunteers, and Thompson said they have plenty of ways to get involved, from running errands to filing paperwork.
“Anybody can help that’s willing to,” Thompson said. “There’s a lot that goes on besides just fighting the fire.”
Thompson said they are currently working with about 10 active volunteers. Anyone 18 and older with a driver’s license can become a certified volunteer through a training course, and even 16- and 17-year-olds with driver’s licenses can begin getting involved.
“They’re not going to be allowed to do a whole lot, but they can help out,” Thompson said. “As soon as they turn 18 we can get them volunteer firefighter certified.”
Thompson he would love to have 30 or more active volunteers. He said volunteer participation fluctuates seasonally, and they are also especially in need of volunteers who are available on the weekdays.
“Over time volunteers come and go,” Thompson said. “The more the better, really. We can always use more help.”
New Site firefighters meet Monday nights at 6:30 p.m. at the fire station, Thompson said.
Anyone who wants to begin volunteering can attend the meeting, or Thompson said people can call New Site Town Hall to find out more.
“I just enjoy helping people,” Thompson said. “It’s a service to the community. We don’t have the need nor the ability financially to have a paid department.”
Thompson stressed the camaraderie that can be found through firefighting, as well.
“It can be stressful at times, but the benefit of having the friendship and the brotherhood of the members in your department – and knowing you can count on them – is a big thing,” Thompson said.
Volunteer firefighters got some hands-on experience recently with a planned burn of a house on Pine Road donated by Warry Sexton.
“We had a lot of members that hadn’t even been to a training burn,” Thompson said. “As far as I know, that’s the first training burn we’ve had in quite some time.”
Thompson said the exercise allowed firefighters to get some experience in a lower stress environment and practice with the equipment.
“Everything went well,” Thompson said. “We got some members some experience as far as how to set up, and we did a good bit of exterior training and how to evaluate … and keep your fire from spreading to anywhere else.”
To find out more about volunteering with the fire department, call New Site Town Hall at 256-234-2049.