Volunteer Firefighters Needed - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Volunteer Firefighters Needed

WEST RICHLAND, Wash. - They don't get paid, but volunteer firefighters put out a lot of fires around the Tri-Cities. And Benton County needs more of them.

The Tri-Cities isn't getting any smaller. As our area grows, so do our chances for house and field fires, the demand for fire fighters goes up, but city budgets are tight. That's why we need a few good volunteers.

Firefighters report fires around the Tri-Cities are happening more often. However not every city can spend the extra bucks to train and hire more paid staff.

"We're starting to see more simultaneous calls or back to back calls. One will be busy at one call and we need volunteers to come in and staff the second engine," said Training Chief Ed Dunbar, Benton County Fire District #4.  

Of the 38 firefighters at District #4, 27 of them are volunteers. And between Districts #1, 2 and 4 the county fire fighters now handle over 2,000 calls for service a year.

Guys like Kye Lorenzen just joined six months ago. And he said he loves what he does.

"It's different everyday. You deal with different people. You're not stuck in the building, you drive around, go places, do different things," said Volunteer Firefighter Kyle Lorenzen, Benton County Fire District #4.

The problem is Districts #1, 2 and 4 need more volunteers to keep up.

"I appreciate every second those guys are out here. Because without them we wouldn't exist," said Dunbar. 

This Thursday they're hoping people with the urge to take on a little heat will check out what volunteer fire fighting is all about.

If you'd like to learn more about volunteering, you can attend an information meeting January 18th at 7:00 p.m.

The meeting will be held at:

Benton County Fire District #1  1811 S. Ely Street in Kennewick.

Benton County Fire District #2 1304 Dale Avenue in Benton City.

Benton County Fire District #4 420 2604 Bombing Range Road in West Richland.

For more information contact Lieutenant Ryan Nicholls at 734-9100.