GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis Volunteer Fire Department is searching for new members to join their ranks.
According to Fire Chief Keith Elliott, membership in the department has declined over the last several years due to members leaving.
“I think volunteerism across the board is down, which makes it harder for volunteer fire departments to get new recruits,” said Elliot.
To be a firefighter volunteers have to have training and commit a substantial amount of time to fire runs, department meetings, and continuing education.
“It takes time and effort on people’s parts to do fire runs,” stated Elliot.
In order to become a firefighter there are several requirements. You must be 21 years of age, have no felonies or serious misdemeanors, pass a background check, and live in the coverage area. In this case, that is Gallipolis, Green, Addison, and Clay Townships.
To begin volunteering as a firefighter, volunteers are required by the State of Ohio to have 36 hours of training. Once certified, volunteers must continue their education earning 56 hours over a three year period to maintain certification. The FD pays for all training for volunteers.
Volunteers with GFD are provided with all equipment needed to respond to emergencies, including bunker gear, brush fire gear, radios and pagers. Volunteers are also compensated $8 per fire run as a stipend for the use of their personal vehicles, according to Elliot. GFD does not supply lights and sirens for personal vehicles either.
In order to maintain active membership with the Gallipolis FD, individuals need to make a minimum of 15 percent of fire runs and 60 percent of meetings.
To learn more about volunteering with Gallipolis Fire Department, visit the station at 2018 Locust Street in Gallipolis or by calling 740-446-9533.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.