Volunteer Fire Departments across the state have faced many struggles, though there’s a new one arising, the lack of volunteers. In Raleigh County alone, there are 13 volunteer fire departments. Kevin Price believes that in West Virginia, volunteer fire departments are very important to the communities for people to step up to the plate and volunteer for their area to provide fire protection and emergency services.
Coal City Assistant Fire Chief Zach Honaker said many people don’t realize that when they dial 911 in a majority of the county, you’re getting someone that’s got to come from their house, go to the station and get a truck. Honaker said he remembers a time when there were far more volunteers one department could have 15 to 20 people and you could handle a call. Now, a call such as a vehicle accident with entrapment or you know that’s got more than 3 vehicles, you might need two departments.
Honaker also said that the training hours for a volunteer firefighter climbed from 48 to 108 because of a law passed a few years ago.
Volunteer Fire Departments across Raleigh County are always looking for more volunteers. To become involved with your local volunteer fire department, all you have to do is contact your local fire station or find them on Facebook.