TANEY COUNTY — “Everybody that responded this morning were volunteers,” Assistant chief James Lannan of the Western Taney County Fire Protection District says. “We were extremely shorthanded.”
Lannan points out a problem his crew had to deal with when five buses caught on fire in Hollister Industrial Park next to a building this morning.
“We had 10 people show up between us and another local fire department,” Lannan says. “That’s about a third of what we should’ve had for a commercial structure fire.”
Authorities are still investigating this fire for a possible cause.
No one was in the buses or the nearby building at the time of the fire and no one was hurt.
Regardless, Lannan is making it a point from now on to ask the public for their help should something like this happen again.
“If you feel inclined, we’re always looking for additional members to come out and help the community,” Lannan says.
Volunteer fire departments like the department in Marshfield show the more volunteers, the better.
“Our entire organization other than the chief and our maintenance man is volunteers,” Lieutenant Andrew Blanton of the Marshfield Fire Department says.
Blanton says 43 of his current 45-person staff are volunteers. Blanton says what helped make this happen was his team having a big presence in their community.
“Our department spends a lot of time doing events, whether it’s the city or other organizations,” Blanton says.
Blanton also says having a social media presence, especially in this day and age, is important.
“We’ve got a Facebook page, we’ve got an online presence, a website,” Blanton says.
The recruiting process has paid off for Marshfield’s Fire Department, and Blanton has nothing but good things to say about his staff.
“They love what they do, and you can see that,” Blanton says. “I mean, they’re still here because they want to be here.”