Volunteer fire dept. chief says fewer volunteers affecting response times

BRAZOS COUNTY, Tex. (KBTX) - Brazos County continues growing and some local volunteer fire departments are worried response times will be affected by a lack of people volunteering to help.

Jason Ware is the Fire Chief for the Brazos County Precinct 3 Volunteer Fire Department. He has been a volunteer firefighter for 20 years.

"My dad was a fire chief in this fire department. My uncle was a fire chief in this department, and my grandfather was one of the founding members of this department," said Ware.

Ware joined the department when he was 17 and says times are changing.

"We've been seeing some drops. A couple of the departments in the county are struggling," said Ware.

He says that it's not just the county that will suffer from these lower numbers.

"When you start losing volunteers then you have to rely on other fire districts and the cities to assist you with the efforts in the county," said Ware.

With city crews out in the county assisting on fires, it makes their response times in the city longer.

But with fewer volunteers, the county firehouses have to rely heavily on city crews.

"There is a certain type of passion that you have to have to volunteer," said Ware, "But I also think that working so much and having to provide for your family is what is causing the decline in volunteers."

Ware says unless something changes, they are worried they won't be adequately staffed to take on the ever-growing county.

"We don't want to respond to fires and we don't want to have to respond to emergencies, but when we do it does become very difficult," said Ware.

For more information on how to become a volunteer firefighter, Click here