Volunteer firefighters needed to protect Worth County homes

The Worth County Board of Commissioners discuss recruiting more volunteers into the fire department. / Jessica Fairley

The Worth County Commission has passed a measure that may bring fire protection to those not covered in the county.

Commissioners have agreed to do a fire feasibility study to find out how much tax payers would have to pay to expand fire coverage within the county with a paid fire department.

Years ago fire stations were set up to respond to fires that were within a five mile radius and now with new regulations the response area has been limited to five road miles from the fire stations.

Because of this, if a fire breaks out in certain parts of Worth County, several homes won't receive help from the fire department.

In the past, volunteer firefighters made the up the difference in these emergency situations, but due to conflicting schedules, many aren't able to volunteer like they had before.

"We've asked the fire captains to come up with a plan to go out into the community and meet with the volunteers that are presently volunteering and get them to bring in new volunteers," said Mike Crosby, Chairman for the Worth County Board of Commissioners.

Board members are hoping this strategy helps protect those in the uncovered areas.

"The training will be under the existing fire department and their officers. If we can get more volunteers involved that will assure us that we will cover the county with less money," said Joe Gaines, Worth County Commissioner.

Ultimately they say their main concern is the safety of all the Worth County residents.