- Associated Press - Saturday, June 6, 2015

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - Adams County officials are trying to find a way to make sure people who sign up for volunteer fire duty actually show up for fires.

The county has a fire-protection agreement with the city of Natchez. But it also depends on volunteer fire departments.

The Natchez Democrat reports (https://bit.ly/1Gg3dSa ) that several volunteer fire chiefs have recently said that while the county has a number of dedicated volunteers, many of those who agree to work with the organizations never show up to a fire.

Adams County Board of Supervisors president Darryl Grennell is suggesting that the county fire coordinator work with county officials to develop an incentive program.

“We are getting the numbers, but the numbers are not doing us any good if they are not showing up,” Coordinator Darryl Smith said. “With the new ones, we have to get them to the scene.”

“What we are doing is not working,” Supervisor David Carter said. “We have got to find some way to get those guys active.”

Carter said he has been to several fires and thought there were enough volunteers, but noted that the chiefs said they need more.

Many of the problem fires with low turnout happen during the day when people are at work. Supervisor Mike Lazarus suggested seeing if members of the county road crew were willing to join a volunteer department.

“If some of (County Road Manager Robbie Dollar’s) guys are volunteers, that is a job where the boss might let them go,” he said. “They are employees of the county, and that would be a good excuse, to let them go fight a fire.”

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Information from: The Natchez Democrat, https://www.natchezdemocrat.com/

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