Paying Volunteer Firefighters

6-22-05 - The small town of Colbert is resorting to paying volunteer firefighters incentive money so more firefighters show up at emergencies. Of 13 volunteers, just seven regularly answer the call for fires.

Volunteer fireman have served Colbert and surrounding cities in Bryan County for over 60 years.

The fire department says it's not fair to them, or those they help. So the city council approved an incentive program to pay each firefighter $5 every time they go out on a call.

The city is hoping it will not only cause the volunteers to step up, but encourage others to join the force.

Their ultimate goal is to be fully-staffed with 30-firefighters.

Aaron Winham, Colbert fire department, said, “If you live in Colbert or surrounding areas, come visit us, we're looking for volunteers all the time and we need people bad"

But it will still take volunteers to make these incentives happen. The city is asking the citizens for donations to pay the $5 per firefighter.

The letter will be included in every water bill urging people to give what they can.

If the city doesn't receive enough donations the fire station could be shut down.