Muse VFD in Glades Co. hurting for volunteers

MUSE — The Muse Fire Department reposted an article from the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Belt Magazine on its Facebook page last Thursday, April 18, to alert citizens that the dire shortage of volunteer firefighters in Glades County is not uncommon. The county relies heavily on fewer of them to back up its two full-time firefighters.

“A good read for Glades County BoCC and citizens,” the department said of the story, which told of the situation in the rural Monongahela Valley of western Pennsylvania, where volunteer firefighting departments are combining, consolidating or ceasing to exist.

“Similarities lie within this rural Pennsylvania county and Glades. Since my tenure at Muse VFD (2001), we have had to make these consolidation changes. Years ago, the Glades VFD volunteers were active and many.

Slowly, Indian Hill VFD was closed, then Palmdale VFD was closed. As time passed, individual paging of (volunteer firefighters) stopped due to lack of response. This brought on a consolidation to a district-level page to many VFDs to get an effective volunteer response.”

The post continued: “From 2001 to 2018, Muse has gone from 15 volunteer firefighters to two. Although the consolidation helps, the effective firefighter force does not exist to provide proper service for its citizens.

“Contact your (county commissioner) and encourage them to find a way. Volunteers are wanted. Help your community. Some training is physically demanding, and some is not. We may be able to find a place for you in your department. Find the Muse Fire Department Facebook page and ask how.”

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