Teens Help Volunteer Shortage At Shoals Fire Department

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ROGERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – As many volunteer fire departments struggle to get people to join the force, one small Shoals department is fortunate to have lots of young help.

At just seventeen years old, Tyler Newton can’t fight fires yet but that doesn’t keep him away from the Rogersville Volunteer Fire station or even from responding to calls in the middle of the night.

“Wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning, most kids would be like forget that but it`s part of what I do,” said volunteer, Tyler Newton.

Assistant chief, Morris Lentz says many times he’ll take a step back at a scene, and take a quick inventory of his volunteers.   Among the veterans, Lentz says, there’s always young men and women there, helping out in any way they can.

“That`s something very impressive with our young folks here, with our fire department,” said Lentz.  “Most kids 16, 17 are out cruising the block or going to the movies, but the cadets we have in Rogersville, they`re out volunteering.”

Rogersville firefighters credit the cadet program for getting teens interested early.

Acting as a support system for the active members translates to a training experience for the younger volunteers.

“On every scene you learn something new, no scene is the same. Every call is different,” said Newton.

And every call is a call of duty teens in Rogersville are happy to answer.

Students starting at 16-years-old can participate in the cadet program.

Only five cadets can be active within the Rogersville Volunteer Fire Department at one time.

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