Westover holds volunteer fire program meeting

The town of Westover started on the path to adding a volunteer program to the City of Westover Fire Department with an organizational meeting June 11.

Mayor Mark McLaughlin, who attended the meeting, said nine citizens attended.

“(The meeting) was just to tell us what the vision for the department was and the direction it needed to be going,” McLaughlin said.

Fire Chief Tim Honeycutt, who is out of town on vacation this week, organized the meeting.

McLaughlin said a few of the citizens that attended the meeting are already trained firefighters that plan to help with the volunteer program. Other volunteers will have to undergo approximately four weeks of training before they can begin work with the department.

Many of the volunteers are interested in fire service as a career and see the City of Westover Fire Department’s volunteer program as a good way to get started. The Westover department can be a help to those people, McLaughlin said.

He said Chief Honeycutt is hoping to structure the program so that the department can help train those volunteers and also help pay some educational costs in exchange for volunteer service.

“What I really think is going to happen is that the city will get people who are really interested in fire service as a career, are looking to break into that and see this as an opportunity,” he said. “I think the bread and butter will be the young folks looking to get into fire service.”

McLaughlin said the goal is for the volunteers to work seamlessly with the regular firefighters.

“It’ll be really difficult to determine, for those on the outside looking in, anything other than a first-class city fire department,” he said. “It’ll be hard to tell who’s a volunteer and who’s not.”

For more information on applying to be a volunteer, call the department at 678-4523.