Ill. volunteer fire dept. struggling with call volume
"The shortage of volunteers is nationwide ... everybody's hurting," Blackhawk Fire Protection District Assistant Chief Todd Fitzpatrick said
By FireRescue1 Staff
MILAN, Ill. — A fire department is feeling the effects of a lack of volunteers and is struggling with calls, according to officials.
WQAD reported that the Blackhawk Fire Protection District, an all-volunteer fire department, consists of 17 firefighters, less than half of what they had 20 years ago.
"They're exhausted from all the calls, we're averaging three calls a day, for a small department, that's pretty bad," Assistant Fire Chief Todd Fitzpatrick said. "The shortage of volunteers is nationwide ... everybody's hurting.”
Last year, the department ran 466 calls with only 18 firefighters.
"All of the small communities around here are hurting so if you have time, please come volunteer," Chief Fitzpatrick said.
Officials attribute the decrease in volunteers to the required six months of training and medical certification, but can’t say for sure why so many volunteers are leaving.