BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) – Emergency services are suffering from record numbers of volunteers. The situation is particularly bad in Upshur County.
5’s John Blashke shows us how one fire department is taking a new approach to recruiting.
The Buckhannon Fire Department has a new sticker on one of its garage doors, but Chief JB Kimble calls it a billboard.
He hopes this will attract the attention of potential volunteers – something his department and the county desperately need.
“In most communities it’s as low as I’ve ever seen, especially in our county,” Kimble said. “A lot of times we’ll have fires and you’ll have as many fire engines as fire engines and that’s not a good symbol to have.”
The fire department also receives help from Buckhannon Upshur High School. They run a social media campaign and make posters for the department.
Justin Bowers is the marketing teacher, he says his students’ ideas continue to impress him.
“The slogan that the kids came up with is ‘be one for all’ it’s really this idea of inviting people to volunteer to reflect and say yes, I’ll be a firefighter for the good of the whole community,” said Bowers.
The posters will be hung on fire trucks during the Strawberry Festival on May 20.
They will have a QR code linking to recruitment websites in Upshur County.
And even though the sticker says come join our “team,” Kimble says they’re so much more than that.
“It’s a family and if you’ve never been part of an organization like this you don’t understand it, we laugh together, we cry together and it stays here among our family and we are a group of brothers and sisters,” Kimble said.
Kimble says there are also opportunities to volunteer with them even if you’re not fighting fires.
Reporting in Buckhannon John Blashke 5 news.
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