More Volunteer Firefighters Needed
JACKSON COUNTY -- Many fire departments across our region depend on volunteers. But the ranks are thinning, and some stations are down to just a half dozen firefighters, which forces them to rely on other departments and slows response times.
The Carbondale Township Fire Department is just one of many in the area dealing with a shrinking list of volunteers. Right now, they only have eight, about half as many as they need.
Carbondale Township Fire Department Shift Officer Joseph Shelton said, "You get a pager, and you take it around with you all the time. And there's not like certain nights where you have to show up or certain days, you just show up."
"Once they find out how detailed oriented it is and how the training is, how much dedication and how much time you have to put into this job, they kind of fall away," added Shelton.
"You have people out there depending on it," said Wright. "So, you gotta be there if something happens."
To become a volunteer firefighter in Illinois, you have to be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver's license and no criminal record. A four-month training course is also required.
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