Nichole Hannahs

Calling Volunteers

by Nichole Hannahs on December 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm

There’s a struggling with-in area volunteer fire departments.

The departments said they are seeing a lack of volunteers from firefighters to emergency medical technicians.

"It’s getting harder and harder partly because of the busy life everybody leads," said Chief Ted McNamara of Gratiot Fire and National Trail Volunteer Fire Department. "The commitment to it and the training. The training keeps going up. We’re getting more diversified. We have several different types of jobs we have to do now and the state requires us to keep up that training."

McNamara said that EMTs undergo 160 hours to be certified and then there a number of continuing education hours. He said right now they have 15 EMTs for 100 square miles they cover.

Rhonda Holdren volunteers for the Dresden Fire Department. She said even though there’s no pay the feeling of volunteering is rewarding.

"It’s a lot of self satisfaction knowing that you have helped somebody, seeing the families be really appreciative too of your help and your time that you put in for really very little recognition that you get."

McNamara also said to be a skilled worker a person must do above the minimum continuing education because of all the changes in medicine.