CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Philadelphia Fire Department is in a desperate need for volunteers.
Philadelphia Fire Chief Curtis Miller said they need people right now.
"We have quite a few volunteers in the Philadelphia Fire District," Miller said. "But we also serve a district in Greene County that is known as the Lorado Fire District. We have only one person in that area that has volunteered to help our department."
This means residents in that area are going to be waiting longer for emergency crews to arrive.
"We need other people that live in that district," Miller said. "People who have an interest in helping the fire department and an interest in trying to keep their fire insurance ratings low. Volunteer. Not so much because we need the members, but because we need the people up there that can respond sooner than the people down here can. It takes us a few more minutes to get up there."
And Miller said those minutes can make a huge difference in the amount of damage done.
"That fire will burn," Miller said. "Once it starts it will double in size about every thirty seconds. So, time is of the essence and we need more people that can respond quickly."
Miller said this is a problem they've faced for some time now.
"We've been going through this several years now," Miller said. "We first signed a contract with the folks of Greene County to provide them with fire protection. In that agreement, they were supposed to try and supply us with at least five members from up there. We have one. We need at least three or four more. That way they would have enough man power up that way to be able to respond from our second station, which is on the county line."
Miller said they're looking for people who are dedicated to helping others.
"We need someone that is interested in being a firefighter," Miller said. "And willing to go through all the training. And there is a lot of training. I've been in this for forty years and I'm still doing training. So, it's an ongoing process."
Miller said they even have a program designed to accepted younger volunteer firefighters.
"We actually have a program where we will accept anyone that is 16 and up," Miller said. "Or an associate membership until they can reach the age of 18. At that point, they can become full members. We will allow them to go through quite a bit of training in that time. So, whenever they become 18 they can become full member with training already established."
Miller said they need daytime volunteers in both the Lorado and Philadelphia Fire Districts.
If you are interested in learning more, you can contact the Philadelphia Fire Department at (870) 932-2294 or email them at email@example.com.
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