Volunteer firefighters and EMTs can be hard to come by these days; with the pressures of work and families most don't have the time to devote to it.
Volunteer firefighters and medical first responders are a little more important than one might think. News 5 learned that years ago funeral homes had ambulances to help with calls but they weren't always reliable.
Charles Herrington watched as individuals responding to an emergency call tried to help his grandfather, but had no luck. "The ambulance that picked him up was from the funeral home and the individuals had no training," said Herrington.
That was the first spark that caught Herrington's interest in volunteering on fire. "After seeing that and seeing how unfair it was, realizing that there were other technologies that things in the cities were different and were actually making a difference. I decided it was something that I had to do," he said.
Herrington has been doing it ever since, but he isn't the only one. Currently the Marion Volunteer Fire Department has 35 volunteers; but even with 35, it just isn't enough. While at the fire station, our crew discovered that it takes a lot more than putting on a suit to put out fires.
News 5 learned that in order to be a volunteer firefighter, you have to have nearly 150 hours of training which is one reason why Smyth County thinks their members for volunteers are so low. However, that's not the only reason.
"Daytime is one of the hardest times to get volunteers to show up because they're at work," said Ken Heath, Public Information Officer for Marion Fire Department.
This means that it takes longer to respond to a fire and taking the chance that it will cause more damage.
Heath encourages everyone to come out and volunteer to help prevent this. "No matter what your skill level is, there's always a place for you to be able to volunteer," he said.
If you'd like more information on how you can volunteer, contact your local fire or rescue department for information.