Photo Credit-Carmel Volunteer Fire Department

Volunteer fire and EMS departments throughout the country are struggling to attract volunteers.  A problem brought to our attention by Carmel's Fire Chief, Michael Azevedo.

Chief Azevedo says it’s hard to attract volunteers because people have to work, sometimes more than one job, and in many cases their work takes them further away from their home communities.

He says service organizations everywhere are seeing a vast decline in volunteerism among the younger generation and he’d like to see that change. He says the tough economy could actually benefit volunteer departments if it’s marketed properly.

"I hear constantly that it's hard to find a job. It is. So what do you do when you're eighteen years old, besides stay home and play on facebook all day? You join your local fire company, you pick up some work skills. You many not get paid a dollar rate but you can learn news skills for your resume like, truck driving, pump operations or emergeny medical training," the Chief says.

Chief Azevedo says volunteering for your local fire department is an excellent way to get to know people in your community and discover great camaraderie.

Training and equipment are provided, and volunteers receive a small stipend per call. Chief Azevedo says you're not going to get rich quick but there are a lot of other benefits.