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Glencoe Fire Department looking for volunteers to fill out its roster

The Glencoe Fire Department is having a difficult time filling its 40-person roster and is looking for new volunteers to bring it back up to strength. But that could be difficult, the City Council’s personnel and legislative committee heard Feb. 4.
City Administrator Mark Larson said the department currently has 34 members, but is funded for 40.
Because people are more mobile, and often experience more career and life changes than in the past, it is becoming more difficult to find and retain volunteers for the fire department.
Larson also said “people don’t stay with employers like they used to,” and some employers are not willing to give volunteers the time needed for training and responding to calls.
For day fire calls, Larson said Glencoe currently calls Plato to help “because not a lot of them (Glencoe volunteers) work in the community.”
Larson said the city staff and fire department personnel are trying to come up with new recruitment ideas “and get the word out were are looking for firefighters.”
Although the volunteers are not paid, they receive a yearly contribution to the Glencoe Fire Relief Association and become partially vested after 10 years and fully vested after 20 years.
“I don’t think pay is the issue,” Larson said. But it may be the time commitment in training and meetings, “which are now tougher” than in the past.

For more, see the Feb. 11 print edition of The Chronicle.