On an internet post, a bright orange and yellow badge glows with a call for action written above it, reading: “The Richland Township Fire Department needs volunteers!”
During a Jan. 21 Richland Township supervisors’ meeting, Public Works Director Rian Barker announced the desperate need for volunteers.
“They’ve been understaffed for a while and have reached out to us for help.”
While no action was taken, the supervisors agreed to cooperate with the department on finding volunteers.
Adam Shaffer, a live-in volunteer with the department, said he knows about the need.
“We’re in a pretty rural area, so when there’s an accident it takes a while for us to respond.
“Having more volunteers really helps us since we are in this situation, but we’ve been lacking in terms of prospects.”
Shaffer said it has gotten worse than in the past.
“Younger people have a lot more to do and occupy themselves with now. The department can feel overwhelming for them.”
However, representatives have learned to adapt with the times, advertising the programs the department offers.
On the Richland Township Fire Department’s Facebook page, potential recruits can find information regarding the department’s Junior Firefighter program for high school students, the Live-in Volunteer program and even classes on CPR training.