USA — As was illustrated again on March 29, we here in eastern North Whitehall Township face a serious problem. There are not enough volunteers for fighting fires. There was a heavily involved brush fire that also consumed three storage sheds. Our Station 12 fire company has state-of-the-art equipment, but not enough responders to operate it. Our fire chief was doing two jobs — acting as both incident commander and also as pump operator. Due to the lack of personnel, our newest apparatus wasn’t even able to respond. Thanks to the help of neighboring fire companies, the fire was soon under control.
The people who moved here for cheaper taxes must realize that one of the reasons for lower taxes is that most emergency staff here are not paid. When I started in the volunteer fire service about 50 years ago, we had only a dozen or so calls a year. Now, we average around 100 per year. Since I am now too decrepit to wrestle hoses and climb ladders, I serve as a fire policeman. I should have retired long ago, but there is no replacement for me, so I’ll respond as long as I am able to.
Volunteers are needed to help their neighbors and themselves. Training is free. Men, women, and juniors are all welcome.