Henderson County Host Firefighter Training Amidst Volunteer Shortage
LEXINGTON, Tn.- Training has begun for the future firemen of Henderson County. Over the past few years, the fire department has noticed that the classes get a bit smaller year after year. 39 News spoke with fireman Chris Chalk who has been training firefighters for over 20 years.
“This class in particular that we're starting tonight is the very first class that they would have in emergency services. And so, this is brand new people that haven't either been in the fire service before or those that have been out for quite a while for quite some time and are getting back into it.
Over the years, veteran fireman Chris Chalk has noticed a change in the number of volunteers. He explained that most departments have begun to hire full time firefighters, which he says is a huge expense to the local economy.
“Seems like it keeps getting smaller amounts. Every time you turn around, there's still you know, we still have those that are really devoted volunteers. We're one of the few departments that Anderson County that still has a very good turnout of volunteers because we rely solely on volunteers,” he says.
Along with helping your community. Chalk also shares some of the other incentives that volunteer firefighters are able to gain.
“Then they get paid through the state and they get a supplemental check at the end of the year. And it's not a lot, but it's you know, it's better than nothing. And this is supplemental pay that full time firefighters have been getting for years,” he explains.
Fireman Chris Chalk explained that there are many other areas within the fire department that could use volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering at the fire department you can contact a department near you. You must be at least 18 years old.