Rockbridge Baths firefighter calls for more volunteers

Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 6:45 PM EST
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ROCKBRIDGE BATHS, Va. (WDBJ) - There is a unique reward to being a firefighter.

“When you show up on a scene, you can see the relief on people’s face, like, thank goodness somebody’s here to help me,” said David Bradford, a firefighter with the Rockbridge Baths Volunteer Fire Department.

But considering many communities depend on volunteers, the question becomes whether there is a somebody.

“I understand that people have jobs, and they got families, and they got soccer games and football games and baseball, you know, all that stuff,” Bradford said. “I understand all that. And I don’t want to take away from that. I want people to have those open, active, fulfilling lives. I want this to be part of that.”

David Bradford finally hit his limit when the Rockbridge Baths department got four calls. He posted on Facebook about how this meant other departments had to cover for each other, all because there just aren’t enough people.

“It’s kind of a nationwide problem,” said Rockbridge County Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Kevin Moore. “It’s been identified everywhere. There’s always a need for volunteer fire and rescue members. It seems like everyone’s busier these days. A lot of people have more than one job.”

“We have twenty members on the roll,” Bradford explained. “About half of those folks actively answer calls. The other half come in and clean up the building from time to time, or mow the grass, or maybe wash a truck or take it to get a state inspection on it. There’s all kinds of things we need doing around here.”

“The more people you have to spread that out, the better,” said Moore.

And if you’re there for the action, they’ll even train you.

“You have value in yourself to come and add to the community, and this is a way to do that,” said Bradford. “We’d like to have you, is what I’d like to say to folks.”

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