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Washington County Volunteer Firefighters in Demand

Firefighters from the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Department say the need for more volunteers comes and goes.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. - Volunteer firefighters are considered extremely valuable to the community, but more of them are needed. It's a dilemma fire houses continue to battle.

Operated by volunteer firefighters, the Washington County Fire and Rescue Association aims to serve the community in a wide variety of emergency situations. Firefighters from the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Department say the need for more volunteers comes and goes. 

"Every year you have a lot of people join, and then you have the years where you don't have a lot of people," said David Fraley, Funkstown Volunteer Fire Department.

Right now there are approximately 600 volunteer firefighters serving the county, according to Public Relations Manager of Washington County James Jenkins. 

But to fully serve the many accidents, fires, floods and other related emergencies that occur, Jenkins says the ideal number of firefighters for the department is closer to a thousand.

"Yeah the older generation is kind of getting to the point where the younger generation needs to step up. And we don't have that many young members to step up," said Anthony Hull, Funkstown Volunteer Fire Department.

Not all area in Washington County are experiencing shortages. Accoring to Smithsburg EMS, they've seen an increase in volunteers this past year.


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