Volunteer firefighters are known for their selfless service and bravery and the members of the Bird In Hand and Witmer Fire Companies are no different. They are leaving Friday night, driving over 1,000 miles to help their fellow firefighters at the West Hancock Fire Rescue in Mississippi. They are giving up their own time and money for the ten-day trip.
“It’s a vacation to work, and volunteer and help other brother and sister firefighters that need a break,” said Ted Gallagher, President of Witmer Fire Company. “ Most of the guys are doing this strictly out-of-pocket. It’s going to cost 500 to 600 dollars per person in fuel and van rental and we have to buy our food down there.”
The fire company receives over 1,000 calls a year and is understaffed with volunteers. “Fire companies from as far away as California. They come from all over the country who ever can get a crew together to come out. The company West Hancock really appreciates it. They couldn’t do it without the other volunteers,” said Gallagher.
There is always a need for volunteers and funding for trips like this and even fire departments locally. “Volunteering these days is kind of a thing of a past , we have about 50 volunteers here at Witmer, half of them are Amish. We couldn’t do it without the Amish. They’re here within minutes of a fire call. They ride scooters or they run to the station,” said Gallagher.
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