HARRISTOWN, Ill. (WCIA) — In January, a small town fire department put out a social media plea for volunteers. Since then, they have received a lot of response, but not a lot of results.
The post was seen by more than 15,000 people and shared about 75 times. The fire chief said a story done by WCIA helped with that.
Two people responded and started the process to become a member. However, they only offset the recent loss of two previous members of the department. As of Wednesday, they still have six volunteer positions they need to fill.
They said it has been a big challenge to find people who meet the requirements. The biggest of those obstacles being the time commitment and boundary limits.
The positions are for firefighteres/EMTs and the fire protection district is now saying, even if you just want to be an EMT, they want you to consider it since that is the majority of their calls.
This problem is not unique to Harristown. This is an issue with many small town fire departments, not just central Illinois, but around the country.
The Harristown fire chief said if a department is understaffed, that means longer response times for emergencies because people from other town’s departments may need to be called.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with the Harristown Fire Protection District, all training and equipment will be provided. You can call the station or you can stop by any Tuesday from 9 a.m. to noon or 6 – 9 p.m.