Fruitland fire department facing challenges finding volunteers - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Fruitland fire department facing challenges finding volunteers

FRUITLAND, MO (KFVS) -

Some smaller fire departments in the Heartland are in need of some volunteer help, but the summer heat isn't making that search easy.

"Especially in this heat, we have to take breaks more often because of the heat. You'll wear four or five firefighters down pretty quickly," Fruitland Fire Chief Rob Frances said.

He also says the guys he has can have a tough time in this heat, so imagine trying to find new volunteers right now. 

"We have 28 volunteers on right now, we cover 110 sq. miles," he said. "It's a big challenge to cover that area."

Frances said having more volunteers on staff would make the station depend less on neighboring departments.

"It's great to have them there, it gives us all experience and comradely, but we like to have our own people there as much as possible," he said.

But even though the department has a need, there is a 6 month probationary period and Frances said he wants to make sure the volunteers are properly trained.

"We're not just going to put them in a pair of turn out gear and put them in a burning building," he said. "There is a process and steps they have to take to show some proficiently before we put them on a hose line and put them inside a building." 

But through it all, he wants to share the fulfillment of being a firefighter.

"The bigger thing is when you save a life, there's not another feeling like it," Frances said. "That you helped someone to have a better day and can see a tomorrow."

If you want to become a firefighter, you can visit these links to learn more:

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