Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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West Baton Rouge in serious need of volunteer firefighters

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PORT ALLEN - The West Baton Rouge Fire Department has a serious shortage of manpower and they are asking parish residents to step up.

"We're actually at an all-time low in volunteers," Capt. James Hartley said.

Hartley says the shortage is concerning for the fire department because they make up a large part of the department's staff.

"We actually rely real heavy on volunteers. We are a combination department. We actually have more volunteers than paid personnel," Hartley said.

Hartley and many other full-time professional firefighters began as volunteers, like Sydney Martinez who has been in the fire department for several years.

"I fell in love with helping out my community, and do stuff that nobody else can," Martinez said.

But the firefighters say this type of work is not for everyone. It takes passion and someone wanting to serve their community.

"I like helping people," Volunteer Joseph Jones said.

Jones has been volunteering with the West Baton Rouge Fire Department for almost 20 years.

"I enjoy it, I really enjoy it, but... very dangerous. But you have to a mindset for it and the heart for it," Jones said.

You can apply to become a volunteer in person at Fire Station Number 1 in Port Allen, Monday through Friday during regular business hours.


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