FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – “In order for us to provide the level of care that not only we expect, but our community expects, it’s expensive,” says Jon Wright, chief of operations for the Beaver Lake Fire Department.
He says with the resources they have right now, it is tough to respond to more than one call at a time the way they’d like to.
“Last year, we noticed 26% of our calls overlapped, and that came out to more than two hundred instances,” says Wright.
He says he’s been with Beaver Lake Fire for six years, and in those six years, he’s watched their volunteer numbers dwindle, putting even more pressure on full-time staff.
“Depending on our staffing for the day, we may have someone to send to the second call, potentially the third call,” says Wright.
Being in the middle of a pandemic with a record high case count hasn’t made it easier staffing small county fire departments like Beaver Lake or city departments like Rogers.
“We take that very seriously, not just from the standpoint of we don’t want our workforce to get sick, but we as the fire department are dealing with at-risk populations who are calling us because they are already sick,” says Tom Jenkins with the Rogers Fire Department.
Wright says they are currently onboard six new firefighters who will help going forward, but they’re still in great need of volunteers.
If you’re interested in helping the Beaver Lake Fire Department, he welcomes everyone to reach out to them directly; no experience is necessary.