Lee Co. wants volunteer firefighters - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee Co. wants volunteer firefighters

Rick Muggridge, Lee Co Commission Chairman Rick Muggridge, Lee Co Commission Chairman
LEESBURG, GA (WALB) -

It's part of an overall plan to increase fire protection coverage and bring down insurance rates for property owners. Volunteers will help Lee County firefighters cover areas in the county where there aren't any fire stations right now.

Leaders have been working on the plan for several months and now hope people to step up and volunteer. Lee county is growing and that means more people will need fire protection.

Now, County Commissioners are looking for a few good firefighters. " Currently, the folks in the south end don't have fire stations located within close proximity to them. So we want to establish stations in the north end," Rick Muggridge, Lee Co Commission Chairman.

Muggridge says the county's plan would mean 99% of structures and people in Lee County would have a fire station within five miles. "The territory is just more than our numbers can cover. And that's the reason we're making this call for volunteers. The area that we have to cover with the number of paid staff is impossible," said Muggridge.

The county plans to build three new volunteer stations and two sub stations. "We got to build buildings, we got to obtain equipment based on the number of volunteers we have, equip those volunteers."

Muggridge says Lee County has a rich tradition of volunteerism, and 30 volunteer firefighters may not be enough. "We'd love more than that. we'd love 50 or 100 even. Because everywhere we can supplement our professionals, not that those volunteers wouldn't be professional too, they be highly trained."

A consultant is now looking for used and new trucks for the firefighters. Muggridge says volunteer firefighters would improve the quality our service they already have. Chairman Muggridge hopes the commission can make a decision on how much volunteer firefighters and building will cost by the end of next month.

Volunteer firefighters must be 18 years old, in good health, and meet certain physical requirements. The county isn't yet accepting applications.

 

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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