Summers County volunteer firefighters discuss shortage of personnel

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HINTON, WV (WVNS) — Emergencies can happen at any time. Nicole Cale, a firefighter with Summers County Volunteer Fire Department, said volunteer firefighters leave their homes at a moment’s notice when an emergency does strike.

“We leave our houses from dinner. We miss school plays. We miss Christmas. It’s something we’re willing to sacrifice. We leave our family to come help your family,” Cale said.

That sacrifice is needed to help the community and to keep people safe. Cale said the number of volunteer firefighters is shrinking across the county. She said more people need to step up to be a volunteer firefighter. She said the departments all rely on each other to make ends meet.

“Being so short-handed, we have to call other fire departments. You might get two from Sandstone, two from us, and two from Nimitz. It’s really hard to fight a fire with not so many people,” Cale said.

A station could face closing down for good if it does not get enough people willing to volunteer their time. Cale said although this unpaid job is a sacrifice, it is rewarding helping others.

“It’s a really satisfying feeling to know that I helped you, helped you out. I helped somebody that I didn’t know. I risked my life to help somebody I didn’t know- a stranger,” Cale said.

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