Volunteer firefighters fight fires and training troubles - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Volunteer firefighters fight fires and training troubles

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Diana Crawford
NewsChannel 10

Stinnett, Texas - Some area volunteer fire departments are struggling to keep fire fighters on the roster as the required training is becoming more time consuming. This is a concern for one fire chief, as fire season is in full swing.

The Stinnett Volunteer Fire Department has 23 fire fighters signed up, but only 10 can actually fight fires, because the others don't have the proper training.

This is a problem for the department because it can't utilize all of its resources. There are several roadblocks for volunteers when trying to get the necessary training. Fire Chief at the Stinnett Volunteer Fire Department says, "The turnover of volunteers is a lot higher than it is for the paid departments. You may have five or ten new people this year and then you go through a year, and the next year you end up with five of them leaving. You start over with your same basic training again. The volunteers have a tough time with getting beyond basic training and moving into intermediate and advanced areas."

While parts of the introductory training are online, the skills part is not, which means volunteers have to be able to take time off of work. Wells says varying work schedules are tough too, because some of the volunteers can only train on weekends, while others can only train during the weekdays.