Archive for Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Letters to the editor: Help Wanted: Volunteer firefighters

July 18, 2007

Are you up to the challenge? Hard-working, motivated people are needed as volunteer firefighters.

Here is what it's like: Besides working your normal job, doing the work around your house, and spending time with your family, an individual should plan on spending around 12 hours per month doing training and completing about 80 hours of Firefighter I and II training. You'll help maintain the yard at your fire station, and keep the building clean and organized. You'll wash and keep the fire trucks clean and organized. You'll test all of the department's fire hose once a year. You'll clean around, flush and test all of the fire hydrants in your township/city, twice a year.

You'll assist EMS with medical calls, assist other departments with mutual aid on their fire calls, run house, grass, field, hay bale, trash and car fires. You'll run car accidents for medical support and extrication and assist the county when roads are blocked from falling trees during storms.

You will be on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, when available.

Occasionally you will come across an individual that doesn't appreciate what you do for them, and they choose to verbally assault you, and then physically assault the fire truck.

The above list is not all inclusive of what their responsibilities are.

Oh, did I mention "volunteer" means NO pay whatsoever! Stranger Township's volunteers have gone before the township board asking for help in subsidizing/reimbursing their expenses -- some drive upwards of 2,500 miles a year in their personal vehicles. They average about 250 calls per year. The firefighters have met much resistance from the township board on this matter, along with trying to hire a part-time individual to ease the load. Please understand there is money available without raising taxes.

Stranger Township Volunteer Fire Department is in desperate need of healthy, willing volunteers. If you're interested, they meet at their station at 7 p.m. the second and fourth Thursdays, and at 8 a.m. the second Saturday of the month at the station at 195th and State Avenue. We prefer that you live in Stranger Township.

Brad Marcellus

Tonganoxie

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