10 October 2012
Rescue and fire departments say the economy and a cultural shift may be contributing to the flat or declining numbers of volunteers.

BY CHASE PURDY
The Roanoke Times

A thinning in the ranks of regional volunteer fire and rescue squads has prompted concern among public safety officials in the Roanoke Valley, mirroring a national trend that poses serious implications for local volunteer efforts to respond to 911 calls.

At the surface, the numbers look pretty dire. But peel away the layers and an even bleaker reality comes into view. As smaller squads grapple with a growing call volume, they also weigh the effects of an underlying cultural shift, one that threatens to disrupt long-held traditions in volunteer stations.

Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Chief Rick Burch already has seen the effects on his own department. In his most recent presentation to the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors, Burch reported numbers that show an eroding volunteer staff and little sign things will change.


Read the rest of the story at The Roanoke Times.
 
posted by Chase at 2:59 PM |


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