“We have seen a decline over the last four or five years — a tremendous decline– in interest in becoming a volunteer firefighter,” said Heath Jones, President of Toney Fire and Rescue. Jones has served there since 2005, and he has served with the Huntsville Fire Department since 2016. Jones says the shortage is happening across north Alabama — not just in Madison County.
“Our communities are outgrowing the departments right now and their personnel,” he said.
“We have a broad variety of who responds. We have people that work fulltime, people who work part-time, retirees, individuals that work at night time,” said Jones.
Jones says around 3 to 5 personnel are ready to respond at any given time.