Urgent call for volunteer firefighters in NC amid significant shortage

A vital recruitment campaign is currently in progress in North Carolina, aiming to address the significant shortage of volunteer firefighters across the state, with a particular focus on departments and associations in Randolph County.

The recruitment drive aligns with Fire Prevention Month in October, specifically Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 8-14. This year’s focus is on cooking safety, which is responsible for 51% of all home fires. Fire departments are committed to educating their communities about the importance of fire safety and prevention.

New recruits are urgently needed as North Carolina has lost 4,963 volunteer firefighters since 2020. Given that over 80% of all North Carolina firefighters are volunteers, the state desperately needs more individuals willing to step into these roles.

Volunteering as a firefighter is a rewarding experience, offering the opportunity to make a tangible difference in one’s community. Volunteers gain invaluable skills and knowledge and have a lasting impact on their neighbors’ lives. Local fire departments, including numerous in Randolph County, including Westside Fire & Rescue in Asheboro, the Ramseur Fire Department, and the Tabernacle Volunteer Fire Department in Trinity, need volunteers of all skill levels and abilities who can respond to emergencies when needed.

“Local volunteers provide the bedrock of North Carolina’s firefighter workforce.” said Chief Tracy Mosley, program manager at the North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs, which is pushing the drive. “We understand that the safety of our communities relies on fully staffed and trained departments.”

The two-year recruitment and retention campaign is particularly targeting at-risk fire departments and associations across North Carolina and Randolph County. For more information about becoming a volunteer firefighter and making a difference in your community, visit www.VolunteerFireNC.org.

By Randolph Record