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Adams County seeking volunteer firefighters

NATCHEZ — No matter the ultimate outcome of the arrangement between Adams County and the City of Natchez in regard to what kind of long-term fire protection plan is developed, the county’s volunteer firefighters are still looking for a few — or many — new recruits.

The four volunteer fire departments outside the Natchez city limits — Foster Mound, Kingston, Lake Montrose and Liberty Road — will all have an open house from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 6.

“We want to just bring the public in so they can come in and see what equipment is available at the firehouses, meet some of the current volunteers and talk to a volunteer about what it means to be a volunteer,” County Fire Coordinator Stan Owens said.

The open house effort was planned well before the most recent round of discussions between the city and county governments about the future of fire protection, Owens said.

The tentative agreement between the two governments will result in the formation of a committee that has the goal of ultimately implementing some form of expanded fire protection for the rural areas of the county. The agreement was reached after several back-and-forth reactions from city and county officials that threatened to let the current fire protection agreement expire. At one point, the county was looking at hiring full-time firefighters for itself while expanding its volunteer firefighter base.

While the plan to hire firefighters has been shelved in favor of what the committee will develop, volunteer firefighters are still needed.

“We have been talking about this since early August, when we had the regional fire coordinating meeting in my office,” Owens said. “There are some departments in Lincoln and Pike counties that are doing an open house that same Saturday, and I decided we needed to do the same thing.”

Potential volunteers who don’t want to wait for the open house events can contact Owens at the county Civil Defense office, and he said will direct their information to the appropriate volunteer fire chief.

“The chief meets with (potential volunteers) and does an interview, they fill out an application and have to pass a background check,” Owens said.

“After that, they are put on a three-month probationary period to make sure they are committed, that they’re going to attend all of the meetings and things like that, before they are assigned any equipment.”

Applicants will need to be 18 to be able to fight fires, but Owens said those as young as 16 with the permission of their guardians can volunteer to help in other ways.

Those who want to be volunteer firefighters can call the county Civil Defense office at 601-442-7021 for more information. tion for the rural areas of the county. The agreement was reached after several back-and-forth reactions from city and county officials that threatened to let the current fire protection agreement expire. At one point, the county was looking at hiring full-time firefighters for itself while expanding its volunteer firefighter base.

While the plan to hire firefighters has been shelved in favor of what the committee will develop, volunteer firefighters are still needed.

“We have been talking about this since early August, when we had the regional fire coordinating meeting in my office,” Owens said. “There are some departments in Lincoln and Pike counties that are doing an open house that same Saturday, and I decided we needed to do the same thing.”

Potential volunteers who don’t want to wait for the open house events can contact Owens at the county Civil Defense office, and he said will direct their information to the appropriate volunteer fire chief.

“The chief meets with (potential volunteers) and does an interview, they fill out an application and have to pass a background check,” Owens said.

“After that, they are put on a three-month probationary period to make sure they are committed, that they’re going to attend all of the meetings and things like that, before they are assigned any equipment.”

Applicants will need to be 18 to be able to fight fires, but Owens said those as young as 16 with the permission of their guardians can volunteer to help in other ways.

Those who want to be volunteer firefighters can call the county Civil Defense office at 601-442-7021 for more information.

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