Tri-City Ledger -

By Our View 

Consider volunteering as a firefighter


February 13, 2020

Jeff Deridder, president of the Escambia County Alabama Association of Volunteer Fire Departments, addressed the Escambia County Commission Monday to simply introduce himself and to invite them to the association's annual banquet in May.

We think most of us don't realize the importance of volunteer firemen in this county and our surrounding counties.

In talking with Deridder Monday he said there are 24 fire departments in the county, five have some paid firemen and 19 are 100 percent run by volunteers. He said currently there are about 300 volunteer firemen in Escambia County, Ala.

Think about that for a while. We have 300-plus men and women who volunteer their time, money and talents to keep us all safe.

Deridder said the same thing that Flomaton Fire Chief Steve Stanton has been preaching for years, there is a need for additional volunteers.

As volunteers get older, they need young blood to take their places. It takes a commitment to become a volunteer fireman, but it's a commitment that saves lives and saves property.

We've all heard that a town or a community is only as good as the people who live in it. Volunteer firemen spend a lot of time training and working to keep their respective communities safe.

We've been trained to think that all we have to do is call 911 when a fire erupts in our house and help will be on the way. We need to realize that without somebody to respond those calls are meaningless.

The association has meetings on the first Thursday of every month. The next will be hosted by Little Rock at 'The Club' on Highway 21 in Atmore.

If becoming a volunteer fireman is something you think you might be interested in, attend some of those meetings. They are rotated across the county monthly. Call Deridder at 251-363-9178 or contact your local volunteer fire department to find a meeting close to you.

Also, the next time you see a volunteer fireman, simply tell them thank you – that's the only pay they get and it does mean something.


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