Hometown fire departments seek volunteers

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 7:22 PM EDT
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COVINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia Fire Chiefs Association is worried about the people they call “Everyday Heroes.”

There just aren’t enough of them.

“We need people,” said Wes Walker of the Covington Volunteer Fire Department. “We’ve tried to be creative with some ideas to try and entice people, but you know, people have got to have time, that’s the one thing. And a lot of people don’t have the time or they don’t think they have the time.”

But filling the fire trucks and ambulances takes people.

“We’re one of the smaller departments as far as statewide,” Walker said, “and we run three- to four-hundred fire calls a year.”

“It’s sad that we’ve gotten to the situation we’re in,” said Paula Smallwood, a captain with the Covington Rescue Squad, “but I understand everyone’s lives have gotten busier now.”

They say any help, from the most highly trained EMT on down, is useful.

“So anyone can volunteer,” Walker explained. “That’s one thing I think people don’t understand. There’s a job for you.”

And these folks will tell you, as the fire chiefs do in their public service announcements, that there’s one extra special benefit.

“It’s very satisfying to be able to know that you made a difference,” said Smallwood.

“So if you want to make a difference, whether it’s in our community or a community anywhere across the commonwealth, contact your local fire and rescue department,” Walker said. “I guarantee you they won’t turn you down.”

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