Westover plans new volunteer fire program

Published 5:22 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Westover Fire Department is putting out the call for volunteer firefighters to work along the professionals.

Fire Chief Tim Honeycutt said the department will begin taking applications to be a volunteer May 1, and the program will begin around the first of June.

“We’ve had people as far away from West Blocton, over in Bibb County, call and ask about our program and when we were going to get it started,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of folks who are really excited about this.”

After applying, candidates will have interviews with Honeycutt and Westover Mayor Mark McLaughlin. Accepted candidates will then attend weekly meetings and go through fire and medical training, Honeycutt said.

“We want to be sure we’re getting the right people,” Honeycutt emphasized.

Once the volunteer firefighters go through training, they’ll have responsibilities similar to those of the paid firefighters. They’ll be allowed to respond to calls, ride in fire vehicles, and work overnight shifts at the fire station.

“This allows us to enhance our service to our citizens. It does put more personnel on an emergency team and gives people an opportunity to come out and work alongside us,” Honeycutt said. “I believe it is a great option.”

Working in a volunteer program can open the door for a career in fire service, he said.

“People are looking for that opportunity, and we want to provide that service and that chance for people,” he said.

Volunteers can be male or female and should be at least 18 years old. For more information, call the Westover Fire Department at 678-4523.