Our opinion: ‘Heartbreaking’ for Starbrick

Push has come to shove for the Starbrick Volunteer Fire Department.

The problem isn’t necessarily finances, but finding people willing and able to serve as a volunteer firefighter or EMT. Between five and six volunteers handle all of the department’s firefighting and EMS work; another few volunteers help out with department administration. The heavy load is too much for the small group to continue handling.

“It’s really a very small handful of people wearing multiple hats,” Department Treasurer Hollie Foust said. “There are some very dedicated volunteers in every department. They’re tired.”

In the short term, the township of Conewango and the department are collaborating on a membership drive aimed at finding a few people willing to join the department. The perfect candidate is someone who is fully trained and able to hit the ground running, but department officials say they also need people willing to go through the required training and volunteers to help take over some of the administrative load.

“It’s heartbreaking to have to go down this road,” said Kirk Foust, Starbrick Volunteer Fire Department chief.

Don’t think Starbrick is alone in this predicament. The ranks of volunteer firefighters and EMTs have been dwindling for years, and in our opinion Starbrick is one of the first departments in our area to come to the logical conclusion that increasing call volumes can’t be answered by fewer and fewer volunteers. If you’re interested in helping out, attend Wednesday’s recruitment meeting at 7 p.m. at the Starbrick Volunteer Fire Department. There’s a good chance there’s a way you can help.


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