Turley Volunteer Fire Department Struggling To Recruit Firefighters
TURLEY, Oklahoma - A local volunteer fire department said they are struggling to recruit Firefighters. Despite having only 15 members, Turley Fire & Rescue said last year was one of its' busiest on record.
Turley Fire & Rescue covers about 11.5 square miles. To be fully staffed they need to have 30 people. Currently, they have just half of that and after a record number of calls their looking for people to step up.
Assistant Chief David Morgan became a Volunteer Firefighter/EMT to make a difference.
"It's because I want to help somebody in my community" Said Assistant Chief David Morgan of Turley Fire & Rescue.
He's one of several unpaid volunteers who staff Turley Fire & Rescue, a full volunteer fire department that responds to medical and fire calls 24 hours a day. For the volunteer firefighters, 2018 was historic.
"Numbers-wise it has been one of the busiest,” said Assistant Chief David Morgan of Turley Fire & Rescue.
Just last year they were dispatched out to more than 400 calls. More than their average call volume which is Typically between 300 and 350 calls.
"That is an extreme amount," Said Assistant Chief David Morgan of Turley Fire & Rescue.
And being a volunteer doesn't mean just responding to fire and medical calls. It also includes training. Last year firefighters put in more than 2000 hours. But with very few volunteers it can be taxing on the firefighters.
"We are always looking for volunteer help we run a lot of calls and we require a large commitment," Said Assistant Chief David Morgan of Turley Fire & Rescue.
And that dedication requires time, which can be difficult to find. Morgan said the silver lining is the great working relationship with other departments, including Tulsa Fire Department, Sperry Fire and Rescue, Owasso Fire Department and Black Dog Fire Department. If Turley Fire & Rescue didn’t exist, Morgan said insurance rates would increase, along with response times.
"It would be very tough more so because they'd have to rely on a paid department that's further down the road," said Assistant Chief David Morgan. And Morgan hopes more people will take on this tough but rewarding job.
"If I can save someone's house if I can save someone's life which we've done here that's the main goal" Said Assistant Chief David Morgan of Turley Fire & Rescue.
To learn more about becoming a volunteer firefighter, visit their Facebook Page