8-27-06 – Local volunteer fire departments say an increase in the number of grass fires and other fire calls have made it more difficult to recruit new volunteer firefighters.
The increasing numbers of calls are putting a strain on departments’ financial resources and the volunteers as most continue to work full-time jobs.
Even if a department has volunteers, the Preston Volunteer Fire Department says their biggest challenge is finding volunteers who are available to respond to fires on week days when many members are working. The chief of operations for the department says it’s impossible to pin down the number of volunteers he’d like to have working in the department, but the need is always there – especially during a dangerous fire season.
Some departments offer extra training like State Fire Certification for those who want to develop their skills.
The Grayson County budget provides some funding for its 13 volunteer departments, but most rely on community donations.