Woodbridge and Bethany Fire Depts. looking for more volunteers

(WTNH) — The massive blaze at the JCC emptied the fire houses around the area. Volunteers and professionals worked side-by-side to contain the fire minimizing the damage. But for the volunteer fire departments, it’s becoming harder and harder to recruit people.

In Woodbridge and Bethany, they have about 50 firefighters, but would like to see that number jump to 60. Chief Bob McSherry says in Bethany it’s a challenge.

“We live in a two income society, where if it’s a married couple and it’s pretty hard for the husband or the wife to get out and go to all the training, which can be 200 to 400 hours depending on which route you take,” said McSherry.

That’s right. Hundreds of hours just to become a volunteer firefighter then many more hours re-certifying. It’s hard to recruit and keep firefighters when you factor in the paperwork, the physicals from doctors, maintenance on the equipment, that’s before they even go out on a single call.

Chief Sean Rowland of Woodbridge says and they’re doing it all without pay.

“Most of it is all good stuff, there are some things that are counterproductive why, but in the long run precautions are there for our safety and the firefighter safety,” said Rowland.

In Woodbridge, they respond to more than 500 calls a year for their town, but also get called out to neighboring communities to help truck water. McSherry says while it’s a lot of work, the reward and job satisfaction is high.

“I’ve had the best fortune and also the total thrill of bringing somebody back through resuscitation and other means and there’s nothing else like it in the world, it is pretty exhilarating,” said McSherry.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s