This evening our local volunteer fire department, West Pulaski Fire Department, is holding its annual catfish dinner to raise money. We always go. We feel it is important to support them, as well feel fortunate to have them available. We live just (less than 3 miles by the road, even closer as the crow flies) outside the city limits. The money raised helps them buy new equipment or replace worn out equipment/gear. Last year the money raised was used for thermal cameras. This year they are going to use the money raised for protective gear. (photos credit)
A volunteer fire department (VFD) is an organization of men and women who have joined forces to perform fire suppression and other related emergency services for a local jurisdiction. According to the National Volunteer Fire Council, "There are just over a million active firefighters in the US, of which just over three-fourths are volunteer firefighters. Nearly half the volunteers serve in communities with less than 2,500 population."
The term "volunteer" refers to a group of part-time or on-call firefighters who have other occupations when not engaged in occasional firefighting or response to other emergencies. Although they may have "volunteered" to become members, and to respond to the call for help, they are compensated as employees during the time they are responding to or attending an emergency scene, and possibly even for training drills. An on-call firefighter would probably be expected to volunteer time for other non-emergency duties as well (training, fundraising, equipment maintenance, etc).
As last year, we'll be there this evening to support our local "volunteer" firefighters. They serve very good catfish (photo).