Volunteer fire departments facing major shortage of personnel
BATON ROUGE - The statewide shortage of volunteer firefighters is being felt throughout the capital region. The Chaneyville Volunteer Fire Department is opening a second station. Fire trucks and equipment have been purchased, but the department may not have the personnel to staff the station.
"In 2008, when I first started at the Channeyville Fire Department, we had 25 volunteers and today, we have only one volunteer," Channeyville Fire Chief Blake Bourgerois said.
That's not the department's only problem. When Channeyville firefighters respond to calls to help smaller volunteer fire districts located outside of East Baton Rouge Parish, Chaneyville maybe the only firefighters to show up.
"Sometimes you show up, there's five guys there. I've been there and we've been the only fire tuck there. It happens and it's a very dangerous situation."
Chaneyville's new fire station is scheduled to open for service next month.