Cheektowaga fire highlights need for more volunteer firefighters

Posted at 11:10 PM, Oct 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 23:10:11-04

A raging fire destroyed a Cheektowaga home Thursday. Firefighters got the call to Cayuga Creek Road just before 3pm.

“He was in the kitchen. He heard a popping noise. Went to the bedroom, and saw a fire in the bedroom,” said Jason Stoll the 1st assistant chief at the Doyle Fire District.

No one was hurt, but when the fire chief saw the fire, he called in more manpower.
“Just with the shift change and the volunteer firemen and just to get enough people to respond here. I was more worried about manpower. So, I called in additional crews,” said Stoll.

And every firefighter working in Cheektowaga is a volunteer.

It's no secret that there's a need for volunteer firefighters. In an effort to get more of an idea to why it's difficult to find recruits, The New York State Association of Fire Coordinators is putting out a survey to current firefighters and chiefs on how to better recruit and retain volunteers.

Could more volunteer firefighters in Cheektowaga have changed the outcome of that fire? There's really no way to know. But, because of the shortage, one chief had to call over a half dozen nearby departments just to make sure this fire wouldn't spread. And he hopes maybe that makes one more person think about volunteering. 

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