Fire department hurting for volunteers

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

GREENE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - As many Region 8 counties are under burn bans, one local fire department is fighting another battle.

The Western Greene County Fire Department is struggling to keep firefighters.

While it's dry and windy, it's not a time for volunteer fire departments to struggle to keep help.

Fire Chief James Potter said the number of recruits is up, but that is not the problem he is facing.

"We don't see the longevity that we used to see," Potter said. "We used to recruit them and keep them for 15 to 20 years."

That has changed drastically at the department.

"It seems like now they are in and then they are gone," he said. "Life changes, it wasn't what they thought it was. We really need people who are willing to serve their community. That is what this is about."

In the daytime, Potter said they hurt the most for help when called to an emergency. He is looking for people willing to stay.

"The younger generation gets the adrenaline rush from it to show up at a fire or run red lights or whatever, but it takes a lot of work in the background," Potter said. "Occasionally we have the opportunity to save a life, that's what we are here for. The main thing for people is probably their pocketbooks. The better off your fire department is, the better your insurance rating is."

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter at the department can contact Potter at 870-565-6733.

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