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Love County volunteer fire departments need more firefighters

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 7:00 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Oklahoma (KXII) - The Love County volunteer fire departments are in need of volunteer firefighters.

Criner Hills Chief Charles Campbell said as less people volunteer, lately the departments are getting more calls than they can keep up with.

“They need firefighters,” Campbell said. “They have one or two on each fire department and sometimes they’re not there.”

Lake Murray Assistant Chief Chad McMillan said more volunteers would help make sure more fires are responded to.

“All of us have other jobs,” McMillan said. “We’re not available all the time, so more people might have different hours.”

The job is all about community.

When Campbell first started in the 80s, Love county only had two departments: Marietta and Thackerville.

If there was a house fire further away, by the time a department got there, the house would be down.

“The reason I do it is to help the people and to serve the people as much as I can,” Campbell said.

Rural departments face different challenges than city firefighters.

They drive further distances, they have other jobs, and they don’t have fire hydrants.

Instead they bring their own water.

“Cur process here is,  if a brush truck goes out, one guy drives it and one guy brings the tanker,” Campbell said.

The NOAA predicted the upcoming winter will be warm and dry-- perfect for grass fires.

As people light campfires and turn their heaters on, that poses extra risk too.

“We need help helping people,” McMillan said.

You don’t just have to fight flames to help out.

“We need rehab people to bring drinks, snacks, and shuttle water, tanker drivers,” McMillan said. “Just get equipment to us.”

The departments in Courtney, Orr, Eastman, Enville, Eastside Lake Murray, Thackerville, and Greenville are all in need of volunteer firefighters.

“You’ve got to be dedicated and ready to do it. It’s twenty four hours, seven days a week,” Campbell said. “You could be at Christmas dinner when the pager goes off.”

Contact the nearest fire department on Facebook to start an application.

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