Milton struggles to recruit volunteer firefighters

Department is still taking applications

In Rock County, as well as around the country, volunteer fire departments are trying to find enough people to fill empty spots in their ranks.

Milton Fire Chief Loren Lippincott said it’s a challenge to find enough volunteers.

Milton has nearly 40 on their staff, but the department is still taking applications. Next week, the Milton Fire Department will be interviewing potential volunteers to get them ready for training.

Lippincott said the biggest challenge is finding people available during the day from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“It’s an ongoing challenge for all of us. There are some departments that are more fortunate to have people that are available during those daytime hours, but it’s becoming more and more problematic to fill those slots,” Lippincott said.

He said the losing the General Motors plant made it tougher to find volunteers, especially during the day.

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“As those places closed, we ended up not having enough people to work as more people took jobs on first shift, so that really hurt us during the daytime hours,” Lippincott said.

Lippincott said on days when there aren’t enough people available, the department relies on help from neighboring departments.

To volunteer, people don’t have to live in a community but they have to be willing to stay in the community during their shift.  

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