FARMERSBURG, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Thunderbird Fire Department hosted a training Saturday morning to recruit new members.
Both Thunderbird and Posey Volunteer Fire Departments have seen a decrease in staff over the years.
John Quilliam, Thunderbird Fire Chief said he’d like to see more community involvement.
“We look forward to having all these lockers filled and participation level. It doesn’t do a whole lot of good for people to join and then ride the pine,” he said.
Members of these particular departments aren’t paid and they often times work in other professions.
Cody Barnard, Posey Fire Chief, said finding people to commit is their biggest challenge.
“It’s a huge time commitment, the training requirements that are put forth by the state and then the individual requirements that the department requires. So a lot of people they just don’t have the time. Or they don’t have the passion,” Barnard explained.
Quilliam said volunteer fire departments help smaller communities save money.
“It saves so many tax payer dollars. We’re able to pave roads and do other things as opposed to paying for that fire protection. I think that people just assume that when they call 911, there are guys just sitting at the station waiting on that call and that’s not the case,” Qulliam noted.
They said they hope to attract more young people to their departments.
“This is a young person’s game. They are more agile and can do more things and they’re just in better physical condition,” Quilliam continued.
Posey recently was awarded the SAFER grant. It will fund their recruiting and retention efforts for the next three years.
“I’m hoping we can be successful in that because I think if we can plant the seed in our young folks and show them that there positive things to do, and hopefully get them on the right track so they don’t make the wrong choices,” Barnard concluded.