Volunteer firefighters ‘critically’ needed in rural HRM areas, department says

Volunteer firefighters ‘critically’ need in HRM
WATCH: The Halifax Fire Department says there is a desperate need for volunteer firefighters at nearly 30 departments across the Halifax Regional Municipality. Alexa MacLean has more.

Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency (HRFE) says there is a critical shortage of firefighters in the municipality’s rural regions.

HRFE says the shortage is particularly prevalent along the Eastern Shore, where several stations are staffed with just four or five members.

The department would ideally like to have four times that.

“This is unsustainable,” the department said in a release Thursday.

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Chezzetcook Fire station is seen on Friday, June 8, 2018.
Chezzetcook Fire station is seen on Friday, June 8, 2018. Alexa MacLean / Global News

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HRFE says the numbers are dwindling at fire stations across North America due to changing demographics in our rural communities, the perception a huge time commitment is required, and the general trend of people moving from rural areas to urban or suburban communities.

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Several volunteer recruitments will be held throughout the municipality over the coming months. The first one is Saturday at the Meagher’s Grant Community Hall.

Volunteers are currently needed at a total of 29 stations.