BUCKHANNON — The Buckhannon Fire Department received a nice visit from West Virginia State Fire Marshal Ken Tyree on Tuesday, May 24. Tyree’s visit was not limited to discussing a few matters with visiting department representatives, but to thank Buckhannon-Upshur High School’s Football Coach Zach Davis. Coach Davis’ team, as well as Justin Bowers’ Career Tech, Business and Marketing class, brainstormed over 24 ideas for recruitment of volunteer firefighters.
“The lack of volunteerism for fireman is not limited to only Upshur County, but nationwide,” said Fire Marshal Tyree. “We cannot thank the high school students enough, as well as Mrs. Anderson’s fifth grade class and Mrs. Crites eighth grade class.”
Shanda Hoover was a huge contributor for this project. Hoover is the owner of Mountain Momma Market, who took several fire pictures free of charge. What a wonderful way to give back to your community! Kristie Tenney also assisted in getting the signs printed for recruitment. It could not have been done without the team effort put into the entire project.
There are currently plans in motion for the W. Va. Fire Marshal to come back and sit with local fire chiefs from several departments to discuss what he can do to help each department.
Out of 450 paid departments in the state of West Virginia, 98% are certified volunteers.
Tyree expressed, “Anytime I can have young students be a part of the community, I’m all about it.” He came to thank everyone involved and support the young students involved in the volunteer project to get the word out into the community. Raising the percentage of volunteerism is the main goal at this point in time. It’s no surprise that our local Volunteer Fire Departments are struggling with volunteers right now. “Anything we can do to help recruit and retain people is critical. It’s obvious that people care seeing how many are involved in Upshur County.”