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Brazos Valley volunteer fire departments in desperate need for more volunteers

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 10:38 PM CDT
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CRABBS PRAIRIE, Texas (KBTX) - Volunteer fire departments in the Brazos Valley say they are in dire need of more help from the community.

Crabbs Prairie Fire Captain Stephen Countz says they need more volunteers, especially after they absorbed another district, nearly doubling the area they already cover. He says recruiting efforts are not helping.

“With a county of about 70,000, you would think that there would be more numbers of people wanting to step up and volunteer for their community, but there really isn’t,” said Countz.

Countz says they have about 20 active members. But when calls come out in the middle of a weekday and members can’t get out of work, he says only a few are able to respond.

“If there’s not enough, then somebody’s gonna have to wait, and when seconds count and lives mean everything, that’s where it goes,” said Countz.

But they are not the only one’s struggling with numbers. According to the National Volunteer Fire Council, the number of volunteer firefighters continues to decline.

In Brazos County Precinct 3, Fire Chief Jason Ware says they are seeing the same thing.

“Without a volunteer department your response times from the city would be extraordinary, especially the farther out you go,” said Ware. “And if you don’t have a strong volunteer department or strong volunteers to respond, then you’re taking a chance of having a catastrophic loss or loss of life.”

Crabbs Prairie VFD is hosting a meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. and invite anyone interested in learning more about the department to come by. They are located at 28 FM 1696 W. Huntsville, TX 77320 (Station 41).

Brazos County Volunteer Fire Department Precinct 3 is hosting a barbecue Saturday, October 16. The community is welcome to come by. That will be at 5725 Elmo Weedon Rd. College Station, TX.

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