Roanoke Fire-EMS tries social media blitz to solve enrollment struggles

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ROANOKE, Va (WDBJ7) Crashed cars, burning buildings: it's all in a day's work for Deputy Chief Marci Stone. But lately, she and the Roanoke Fire Department have been facing a different kind of challenge.

Every spring, Roanoke Fire/EMS tries to recruit a new class of firefighters. And every year, fewer and fewer people apply.

"People are not looking at public service as a long term position, and we're looking for people who want to have longevity and want to make this a career," she said.

It's why, this year, Roanoke Fire/EMS is trying something different. "We decided to call it I am Roanoke Fire/EMS, you know kind of like we are Marshall or something like that, said Fire/EMS spokesperson Tiffany Bradbury.

Every day this month, Bradbury says the RFD will be blanketing social media with shots of firefighters and EMT's, both on and off the job. It shows "you can find your family with us," said Bradbury.

Bradbury hopes these profiles will help people realize they can both save lives and still have a life of their own.

The response so far, she says, has been tremendous. "People are really loving it," said Bradbury.

With applications open through the end of this month, RFD can't say how many people will ultimately apply to join their ranks. But they hope this campaign can help keep these engines running for years to come.

"If you have a servant heart and you wanna serve the community and the public, we are looking for people like you," said Marci Stone.