What if your house was on fire and no one came to put it out? What if your spouse was having a heart attack and there was no one to respond?
What if your child was in a terrible automobile accident with no one arriving on the scene to help? What if it’s your elderly parent that has fallen and cannot get up without assistance?
These scenarios are real, and they are just a few of the reasons volunteer firefighters are urgently needed. Volunteer firefighters have decreased significantly in numbers despite increased call volume. Some reasons for the decrease in volunteers include more training requirements, increased duties, squeezed family lives, and less-flexible employers.
Many of you are thinking, “I can’t stop everything at the drop of a hat,” “I don’t have any experience,” or “I would never be able to go into a burning house.” That may be true, but can you assist with emergency medical calls or provide lift assistance? Can you be support staff or help with equipment maintenance? If so, then YOU are the one they need.
According to Blount County 911, the total number of daily calls county wide for 2018 was 19.8. Through July, that number has increased to 21.6 per day for 2019, and the trend seems to be increasing.
While 21.6 average calls per day does not seem like a lot, think about the additional manpower it takes to keep a volunteer station running efficiently. There must be adequate equipment and supplies for calls, trucks have to be gassed up and ready to go, and then there’s the office work that takes place with each call. Once you add all of that up, the manpower hours significantly increase.
Are you the one?
For more information about volunteering, contact 205-625-6868 ext. 3113, visit www.blountcofireandemsassociation.org, or contact your local fire department.
Time is of the essence. Do not delay. Procrastinating a decision to become a volunteer firefighter could mean life or death for someone, possibly someone in your own family.