Fire Volunteers Needed - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Fire Volunteers Needed

WEST RICHLAND, Wash.- Fire crews are working hard to put area fires out, but many of them don't have enough personnel to get the job done.

Officials say they're sometimes scared by the low crew numbers they have during the day, making it hard to adequately respond to some calls.

Most of the area's county crews, the ones that fight most wildfires, are volunteer, and as times have changed in recent years, turnout has fallen.

Unlike past decades, volunteers now have to go through hours of rigorous training just to be on-call.

"The training level that we have to have them get to is a huge commitment of their time and effort," said Mike Spring, Chief of Benton County Fire District No. 1. 

"So when they have family or their career starts to be an interference, we ten to lose volunteers more rapidly."

Crews find themselves stretched thinnest during summer, but due to the shortage, Spring says they're always in recruiting mode.

If you want to get involved, stop by your local fire station and just ask.