Little River hoping drive will bring volunteer firefighters -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Little River hoping Saturday drive will bring volunteer firefighters

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LITTLE RIVER, SC (WMBF) – Fire Station 2 in Little River is taking one of the first big steps in the county to bring in more volunteer firefighters.

They will have their first annual Volunteer Firefighter Drive to expose the community to the fire department and generate interest. Station 2 is a mix of a career and volunteer fire fighter station, but the lieutenant there says they need volunteers to function.

They've tried different things: word of mouth, being continually open to register new volunteers, and more, but now they are trying this open house/volunteer drive to really catch people's attention. They will show the ins and outs of the station, in hopes of opening people up to the idea. They say they really can use any and everyone for any type of job.

Timothy Nugent has been volunteering with Horry County Fire and Rescue since 2005, and for him, the reason why is simple. "It's just a matter of assisting your neighbor," he says. "That's what it boils down to."

The job fair happening Saturday is part of HCFR's renewed interest and determination to get more volunteers signed up with the county.

"We do need more help," says Lt. Bryan Childress with HCFR. "Obviously we've got seats to fill, the job needs to be done, and more is always better in the fire service. "

You're likely to see more events like this to get you more involved, as more and more stations work to bring people in to the firehouse. Their goal is to double the amount of volunteers within the department over the next couple of years.

"We can't run out and buy the help we need," Lt. Childress says. "Volunteers are crucial to us."

They've sent members of HCFR to Hanover, where Chief Crosby came from, to see where they have a strong volunteer program, and how they can bring it here. They're looking for all kinds of help: medics, driver operators, office work, and photography.  People say they value volunteer firefighters, and they think it's a good thing that the department is reaching out to the community for help. There are some benefits too:  $10 dollars per call, a 1 percent fund for retirement, and some other retirement benefits. HCFR used to be mostly volunteer, but as Horry County grew, they had to bring on more full-time career firefighters.

The volunteer drive will be held at station two off of Baker Street in Little River from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

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