Volunteer firefighters needed in Craighead County

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 9:00 AM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Arkansas has roughly 1,000 fire departments across the state, but only about 30 consist of full-time firefighters.

“The number of volunteers seems to be dwindling.” said Craighead County Director of Emergency Management Anthony Coy.

He said most of the time people in the community assume that because they have emergency services at their fingertips when firefighters respond to an emergency, they are full-time fire department employees.

He said this is rarely the case.

“Volunteer firefighters are oftentimes the overlooked resource and asset,” he said. “Not only here in Craighead County, but all of our counties are protected by volunteer firefighters.”

He said many firefighters volunteer because they have a love for service.

The majority of volunteers Coy sees nowadays are older in age. He said younger people may not even know the opportunity to volunteer is there.

“It’s definitely there always,” he said. “That need for volunteers never goes away.”

The minimum age to volunteer is 18, but some fire departments may prefer to have someone 21 and older, Coy said.

If you live in Craighead County and are interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter, fill out the contact form provided by the Office of Emergency Management here.

Coy explained the contact form is not an application.

“That’s simply to get your name out as a potential volunteer in front of a senior staff for that department,” he said.

For more information regarding volunteering, call Coy at 870-933-4575.