It’s likely that the average person in our community doesn’t know that volunteers are indeed providing their emergency fire and medical services. We influence outcomes that directly affect people’s lives by responding at a moment’s notice, whether it’s day or night, to put that fire out, to rescue that person in harm’s way, or sometimes just to give the assurance that, in fact, nothing is wrong. In 75% of the communities in this country, volunteers provide the only organized force to do this work.
Why is this special type of volunteerism so critical at this time? In the past ten years, the ranks of emergency services volunteers have declined by 100,000 people. Conversely, the workload has practically doubled.