The Scott Fire Department responds to over 1500 incidents annually and with only 32 volunteers who have families and full time jobs, they cant afford to lose even one.
The department is hoping to create an incentive based program to keep them around. According to the National Fire Protection Association, over the past several years, there has been a decline in volunteer firefighters nation-wide. Volunteers at the Scott Fire Department averaged nearly one-hundred and sixty hours of training each in the past year.
“They basically respond when they are not working. keep in mind these men and women have full time jobs, they have families and they train. they are held to the same standard of training as career firemen. So they have a lot on their plate, and they do everything free of charge to the citizens of Scott.” says Chief Chad Sonnier.
Chad Sonnier the Scott City Fire Chief says volunteers actually lose money when they give their time to the department. “They’re using their own fuel their own truck, their own vehicle basically to come here. and they’re losing money to come here because they’re strictly volunteer. It’s basically a thank you and to reimburse them.”
If approved in the budget hearing, currently set for the end of June, the incentive pay would be based on how many calls and what type of calls the volunteers respond too, then, at the end of the year the department will cut each person a check to reimburse them.
Mayor Purvis Morrison hopes to see the budget passed. “We have an oppurtunity to give our fire volunteers and incentive and that’s a great proposition so that way those guys and gals can come out and feel free to help this community, and continue helping this community.”
If the budget is passed the Scott Fire Department hopes to have the program up and running by July 1st.