DENHAM SPRINGS - Fire protection districts across Livingston Parish are looking to add more volunteer firefighters as the number of emergency calls continues to increase.
It could turn into a problem in the coming years as many volunteers are getting up in age, according to District Five Fire Chief Joe Koczrowski.
"We need to get young blood in here, because that's the future of the fire service bringing in young guys and getting them some training to help them protect people in the future," he said.
Right now District Five has 30 volunteers and the district is looking to add 15 more. Besides fires, firefighters respond to anything from car wrecks to medical calls. All volunteers go through a lengthy training process.
"I mean when you go in a house you put your life on the line, and you need to have some training so it takes a pretty good commitment to be a volunteer," said Koczrowski.
Over the past five years District Five has seen emergency calls nearly double. More volunteers would spread the workload for firefighters.
"I love volunteering. I love helping people. I've always loved it, and volunteering at a fire department has always been a dream of mine since I was a kid," said volunteer medic Brandi Slade. "I see a wreck and I want to stop and make sure everything is ok. I like knowing what to do and how to do it and make sure everything is ok. It just fills me with joy, and I absolutely love it."
District Five has seen a handful of volunteers go on to become full-time firefighters across the Baton Rouge region.