Firefighters: Volunteers make a difference

There has been a lot of talk over the last few years about trying to recruit more volunteer firefighters. That’s because volunteer fire departments have seen their numbers drop.

People are working longer hours and some have second jobs. Many healthy retirees move out of the area, either for the winter or year-round. Students are more likely to get part-time jobs or are involved in after-school activities, which limit their ability to volunteer as well.

But for those who do volunteer, their work is invaluable.

Take the recent fire in Northeast, Pennsylvania for example. Joseph C. Gullo III has volunteered with the Murray Hose Department and the Brocton Fire Department for many years.

Over the weekend, Gullo saw a glow on Main Street, which turned out to be a house fire. He quickly went up to the residence and helped the handicapped female resident there escape. “The experience from 40 years with Murray Hose and my military training, everything just took over immediately,” he said.

Had Gullo not been trained as a volunteer firefighter, who knows what could have happened.

There’s no easy solution to increase volunteer firefighters. But one thing we can say: Volunteers are needed and necessary.