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Buckhannon Fire Department using unique recruiting tools

Emergency services are suffering from record low numbers of volunteers. The situation is especially bad in Upshur county.
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 6:08 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Emergency services are suffering from record low numbers of volunteers. The situation is especially bad in Upshur county.

5′s John Blashke shows us how one fire department is taking a new approach to recruiting.

The Buckhannon Fire Department has a new decal on one of their garage doors, but Chief J.B. Kimble is calling it a billboard.

He’s hoping it will catch the eyes of potential volunteers -- something his department and the county desperately need.

“In most communities its as low as I’ve ever seen it, especially in our county,” said Kimble. “A lot of times we’ll have fires and you’ll have as many fire trucks as you do firefighters ands that’s not a good symbol to have.”

The fire department is also getting help from Buckhannon Upshur High School. They’re running a social media campaign and making posters for the department.

Justin Bowers is the marketing teacher he says his student’s ideas continue to impress him.

“The slogan the kids came up with is ‘be one for all’ its really this idea of inviting folks to volunteer to consider and say yes I’ll be a firefighter for the sake of the whole community,” said Bowers.

The posters will be hung on fire trucks during the Strawberry Festival on May 20th.

They’ll have a QR code linking to recruitment websites in Upshur county.

And even though the decal says come join our “team”-- Kimble says they’re much more than that.

“It’s a family and if you’ve never been part of an organization like this you don’t understand it, we laugh together we cry together and it stays here among our family and we’re a group of brothers and sisters,” said Kimble.

Kimble says there are also opportunities to volunteer with them even if you’re not fighting fires.

Reporting in Buckhannon John Blashke 5 news.

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