Cullman County EMA emphasizes critical need for volunteer firefighters

(Cullman County EMA/Facebook)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) recently shared that many towns and communities in Alabama are facing a critical shortage of volunteer firefighters, with volunteer numbers dropping by an estimated 40% over the past 20 years. 

According to Cullman County EMA Specialist/PIO Brent McDonald, local volunteer fire departments offer a platform for individuals to make meaningful contributions to their communities.

“One crucial reason for the urgent need for volunteers in our communities is the necessity for faster response times,” McDonald said. “When a department receives a call, our volunteers are often the first on the scene and possess the most knowledge about the areas they serve. This not only benefits others responding to the emergency, but also aids the patient. In cases where volunteers are trained in first aid, time is of the essence to ensure positive outcomes. Beyond the medical aspect, having a well-informed team in a community’s department, even for simple tasks such as guiding EMS (emergency medical services) and other responders to a call location, can have a more significant impact than many realize.”

McDonald said that having both volunteered with Dodge City and working in EMS in the past, he has witnessed firsthand the importance of community members willing to dedicate their time to serve. 

“It’s crucial for the community to understand that there’s a role tailored for everyone,” McDonald said. “When individuals unite, leveraging their diverse strengths, they can significantly enhance the well-being and safety of their community. Volunteering presents a unique opportunity, with a role suited for everyone, regardless of background or expertise. Whether you excel in organizational skills, possess a talent for communication or have technical aptitude, your distinct abilities can be applied to improve the overall effectiveness of the fire service, consequently benefiting your community.”

Those interested in more information or signing up to volunteer can contact their local volunteer fire department. To find the closest one, visit or call 256-739-2890.

Full post from the Cullman County EMA on Facebook (printed as written):

Most towns and communities in Alabama are facing a critical shortage of volunteer firefighters, with volunteer numbers dropping by an estimated 40% over the past 20 years.

Recent statistics highlight this significant decline—a trend impacting the safety of communities across Alabama. Cullman County is not alone in facing this challenge; it’s a problem that most areas within our state are experiencing.

Becoming a volunteer firefighter is not just a commitment to one community—it’s a pledge to protect and serve. Your dedication can make a substantial difference in the lives of those in need, fostering a sense of pride and unity that extends beyond county lines.

If you prefer not to engage directly in combating live fires, it’s essential to recognize that volunteer departments have various areas of need beyond firefighting. This misconception, that their sole focus is on “fighting fires,” is widespread.

Many volunteer departments can utilize your talents in different capacities.

How You Can Make a Statewide Impact:

Spread the word and share this post to reach Alabamians far and wide. Awareness is crucial in addressing this statewide challenge. Tag friends, family, and associates from both different counties and within your area who may be interested in volunteering.

Your support matters! Encourage those who can volunteer and show your appreciation for the heroes already serving in your own communities.

Our great state is built on the strength of its communities. Let’s join forces and ensure the safety and well-being of all Alabamians. Together, We Can Secure the Future of the state we all love – one community at a time.

If you or someone you know is interested in serving your community and making a TRUE difference, reach out to your local fire department and ask how you can get involved.

We must change this alarming trend – not only for ourselves but for all the ones we love.

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