More Volunteer Firefighters Needed

More Volunteer Firefighters Needed
BENTON COUNTY -- Local volunteer fire departments are strapped for man power.

Benton County Fire told Action News they are in desperate need of more volunteers to help protect you.

Don Taylor has been a volunteer firefighter for nearly 20 years.

He joined after witnessing a car accident, but says it's not the calls that draw him.

"It's the camaraderie and the friendships that you build. They are lifelong friendships," Lt. Don Taylor with Benton County Fire District 1 said.

His day job is an inspector with the Department of Labor and Industries.

Don Taylor says being a volunteer is a big time commitment.

Taylor explained, "It's something that in this day and age with the economics the way they are they aren't willing to give that time."

That's part of the problem.

Benton County Fire District 1 tells Action News that they're having a tough time finding people to fill the need, so much so, the same firefighters are having to respond to back to back calls.

"We actually have a pretty urgent need for volunteers in this area, not only in Benton County Fire District 1, but other fire districts around the area are all down in numbers," Capt. Ron Fryer with Benton County Fire District 1 said.

Right now Benton County has about 80 volunteers, but they'd like the number to be well over a hundred, and they aren't getting the response they usually do.

Local fire districts tell Action News they've tried everything from putting ads in the paper to recruiting at local community colleges.
They've even thrown up billboards in front of the station.

"What's left do is go door to door and talk to people, which is a lot of work, but it just might come down to that, Capt. Ron Fryer said.

Benton County Fire says they just need more bodies to cover the district properly.

"There's a saying, what if we have a fire and no one shows up? Well, we hope it never gets to that point, but it can happen if we don't have the man power to do it," Capt. Ron Fryer said.

That's something no one wants, because when a fire like breaks out.

The firefighters are the ones that respond, keeping you safe.

If you'd like to become a volunteer you can stop by any of the Benton County Fire stations and fill out an application.

They are there on Wednesday evenings doing drills.

They are just getting ready for structure training so they encourage you to hurry up.