HAZEL GREEN, Ala. (WHNT) — Managers with the Hazel Green Volunteer Fire Department are cleaning house. More than two dozen volunteer firefighters are turning in their gear and hanging up their helmets.
“We call it a house cleaning,” said Madison County Fire Marshal Bobby Rollins. “Maybe they have some members for one reason or another that cannot be as active as they was in the past and we got newer members coming on.”
Most of the volunteer fire departments have a percentage of calls they want you to answer. If you can’t respond to the calls like you used to, they’re going to give your equipment to someone who will use it.
“I’m sure this isn’t the first incident,” said Rollins. “By the time they request your equipment, you’ve been talked with and asked to fix things and start coming out more and for some reason they can’t do it.”
Rollins told WHNT News 19 that around 30 members were cut from the force. However, he insists it won’t affect the departments ability to respond to calls. “They’re still going to have the manpower to do what they need to do,” he said. “Most of those 30 are the people that aren’t coming out now so we’re not going to lose them.”
Other departments can also lend a hand while Hazel Green looks for new recruits to suit up. “We’ve got other communities that can back them up, they also back up other communities so it’s all a big family out there and we all take care of each other.”
Rollins said it’s not personal. It’s just a business decision.
“It’s not a bad reflection on the people that are getting replaced, it’s just that we got to keep going forward.”
If you would like to be trained to become a volunteer firefighter for the Hazel Green VFD, contact the Fire Marshal’s office at (256) 851-6947 and they will put you in touch with the right contact person.