Wayne County Commission aiming to add $600 incentives for volunteer firefighters

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 4:14 PM EST
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WAYNE COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - As the fifth largest county in the State of Georgia, providing fire service to that entire area can be a challenge.

However, the Wayne County Commission recognizes this and they’re hoping to pass a measure they believe would attract more volunteer firefighters.

The proposed item on the agenda would offer volunteer firefighters $600.00 a year that money, meant to offset the costs of gas to travel to and from meetings, and different volunteer fire stations.

Volunteers would have to pass specific training to be eligible for the money.

“We offer a volunteer suppression certification course. It’s about 110 hours of hand-on and in classroom to become certified as a firefighter,” Richard Johnson said.

It’s an important training for the firefighters to complete.

Often, in Wayne County, they’re the first ones to a fire scene and can make a huge difference before professionals arrive.

“We don’t have a County fire department, so we are relying on these volunteer firemen to go out and actually respond to these calls,” Kevin Mccrary said.

Though it’s not on the agenda, McCrary says the County is hoping to build three volunteer fire stations in addition to the seven they already have and they’ll need volunteers to fill them.

Both McCrary and Johnson are hoping the measure will pass, and show that Wayne County is committed to serving both their citizens and their first responders.

“It’s certainly a morale booster. And these folks, they’re not volunteering for the money. They’re volunteering because of their heart, and they care about their community. But it will certainly help offset some of the cost of being a volunteer,” Johnson said.

That commission meeting is Feb. 6 at 6 p.m.

WTOC will keep you updated about whether that measure passes.