Westover needs volunteer fighters

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2007

In communities such as Westover, residents don&8217;t have the luxury of a full-time fire department.

Instead, the safety of Westover&8217;s residents depends on the dedication of a volunteer fire department, which currently has only 12 members.

The main problem with relying on a volunteer fire department is that volunteers work during the day and have families, which means they can&8217;t go out on every call, say town leaders.

To alleviate the problem, the town is currently recruiting more volunteers to help guard the safety of their community.

Susan Strickland of the Westover Town Council said it is easy and simple to learn to pump water from a fire truck. &8220;If you can&8217;t go into a burning building or help put out a grass fire, you can at least stand by and monitor the pump for water levels or help direct traffic while the others work a wreck. We not only need volunteers to help run calls, but we need them to help with other things around the station,&8221; said Strickland.

The department offers training classes at Station No. 1 on Westover Road every Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. &8220;Here, you can learn something new each time,&8221; said Strickland.

The department also tries to incorporate fire safety for children into their training. They also need more help with gathering items and donations for such events.

&8220;The people at the fire department are all like family. We have to watch out for each other when on calls to be sure that everyone is safe,&8221; said Strickland.

The community is not in any danger, but Strickland said you can never have too many volunteers to help out with all sorts of things.

The department recently elected a new fire chief, assistant fire chief and board members. They are as follows: fire chief, Jere Thompson; assistant fire chief, Jeff Welborn; chairman of board, Mabeath Moore; secretary, Denice Howard; treasurer, Susan Strickland; and members, Catherine Scott, Christy Harrington and Jeff Welborn