Hagerman Fire chief Tim Peterson has been struggling to find people come to work at the Hagerman Fire Protection District over the last two years.
As COVID-19 entered into the community in 2020, older firefighters had to be put on leave.
“We did have some people that we put on a leave of absence due to their age and underlying medical conditions. And during the two year period, they decided that they would go ahead and retire,” Peterson said.
While Hagerman does employ full-time firefighters, most of them are volunteers. “The fire division has about 19 people on it, but we only generally get maybe half of those guys who are active firefighters,” said Peterson.
But why are only half of them able to cover shifts? Inflation and working longer hours has made it tough on these volunteers to be able to make it to calls.