CLAY COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – News 10 brought you the story about a shortage of volunteer firefighters throughout the state of Indiana. While requirements to become a volunteer are strict, money seems to play a factor in this shortage of heroes.
A lot of these smaller communities rely on their volunteers, and in order to get the job done properly, they need money.
Fire engines alone cost more than $200,000, and some communities are struggling to foot the bill.
“Our communities are poor,” says Chief Bryan Husband, Lewis Township Fire Department, “Getting that support from your local department is big. I don’t think people realize the work they do, the time they spend or what it actually costs to do the jobs that we do”.
Fundraising has been a help, but not the greatest. To even put events together, such as fish fries, requires budgeting.
“It seems like the cost of that is higher, yet how much can you charge each person to come in,” Husband says, “We don’t make the money off the fundraisers that we did 10 years ago, 15 years ago, we just have less money coming in”.