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A Push For More Volunteer Fire Fighters

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Calaveras County, CA — Volunteer fire fighters are wanted in Calaveras County. The county’s Fire Chiefs Association is getting a $1,884,400 federal grant. It comes from the Department of Homeland security and will run for 4 years. The funds will go toward advertisements to make the public aware of the need.

Valley Springs Chief Kim Olson says, “People may not know that there is a shortage of fire fighters. A lot of people don’t even realize that a majority of our staffing comes from volunteers.”

Calaveras County has 11 departments that serve 45,578 residents and 1020 square miles of rural area. The acres of land include 66% rural wild land, 21% residential and 3% commercial.

Olson says, “We have 242 volunteers in the county. We looked at the need of all 11 districts and we we’re looking at 456 volunteers needed throughout the county. We are looking to recruit a significant amount of volunteers.”

Olson says the volunteer agencies respond to structure and wild land fires, medical emergencies, technical rope rescues, hazardous material spills, public service assistance calls and other emergencies. He believes there is a lack of volunteers because of all the training and hours it takes to qualify. That’s why a portion of the funding will also go towards a volunteer benefits incentive program. It will include a 401K contribution, medical and dental insurance, child care expenses and college tuition.

Click here for more information on how to volunteer.