VERMILION COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) – One fire department is helping another because of a major staff shortage.
The wall at Catlin Fire Protection District in Vermilion County used to be full of firefighter gear. But these days, they’re struggling to find volunteers.
They currently have 16 people signed up to help. Normally, around six firefighters will be active to answer calls throughout the day. Now, some are out with COVID-19. One was injured on duty. Two just joined today – bringing the number of active firefighters up from two to four.
Fairmount Fire, a neighboring department, is now taking over Catlin’s calls.
“Staffing here at Catlin has been low for a while now. Just nobody in the community wants to come out and volunteer; they just don’t have the time to do so,” Catlin Fire Captain Branden Weidig said.
“We’re kind of at a loss of what our next step is right now. That’s just kind-of the world that volunteer departments across the United States are at,” Weidig said.
The Fairmount Fire Department will be responding to Catlin’s calls until January 17th. Catlin Fire Protection District says if you see them around, give them a wave and a big “thank you.”