Fire departments enter their busy season with fewer volunteers than ever

Local News

As temperatures drop and the holiday season approaches, local fire departments remind the community to practice fire safety. Representatives from the LeClaire Fire Department say the end of the calendar year tends to be one of the busier times of year as more individuals try their hand at cooking and break out the space heaters for the cold weather.

LeClaire Fire Rescue’s Assistant Chief Neil Vining explained the toll being a firefighter can take on someone — especially when the department is short-staffed.

“For those of us that are working full-time jobs, we’re seeing more and more calls, more and more times up in middle of night, which has a physical strain on a person,” Vining said.

Vining described how the volunteer work for the department can be rewarding. He’s worked with the team for more than 10 years and continues to do so to serve the community.

“This is something that we really love to do — to be there to help our neighbors,” Vining said.

Recruiting new volunteers would ease the burden placed on current responders while helping protect the community to the greatest degree possible.

“The more people that we have, the more hands there are to do the work,” Vining said. “I think that if more people could get involved and realize ‘Hey, this is something we’re doing to help the community help our neighbors’ — to be there for those people who are close to us we’d all be better off for it.”

The team at the LeClaire Fire Department isn’t the only group in need of more helping hands. Vining said these shortages are occurring across the country, along with other industries also seeking more staffers.

“There’s a million reasons that you’re busy. But if we can get people that want to help dedicate some time to helping their neighbors we would love to have them,” Vining said.

For more information on how to become a part of the LeClaire Fire Department’s team, visit here.

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