Making a difference: 67-year-old becomes Virginia volunteer firefighter

  • Source: WFXR-TV FOX 27 Roanoke
  • Published: 08/09/2022 12:00 AM

With firefighter shortages emerging in Bedford County, one man decided he wanted to get involved in the action, regardless of his age. Rusty Mansel recently received his “Firefighter 1” course completion certificate at the age of 67 from the Virginia Department of Fire Programs and the Virginia Fire Services Board, all with no prior firefighting experience. Mansel retired five years ago, but before he started his new role with the Big Island Volunteer Fire Company, he says he volunteered with the local search and rescue team, which is when he began to notice emergency responder shortages. “There’s just not that many volunteers, so after a couple of years of doing that, I asked my chief, I said, ‘what do I need to do to help more?’ And he said, ‘well, I need you to take Firefighter 1,'” Mansel said.


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