Volunteers needed for county fire departments

Published 4:20 pm Thursday, September 21, 2023

LOYD STAR — Austin Smith with New Site Volunteer Fire Department emphatically said “We need more volunteers,” when he arrived on scene to a house fire at Macedonia Road Wednesday. Other first responders shared a similar message as they rotated between fighting the fire and drinking water. 

Firemen had to respond to a grass fire on I-55 Thursday.

Volunteer Fire Departments have run all over the county fighting fires over the past month. Two fires scorched over 300 acres each at the Lawrence-Lincoln County line. One burned near Ruth this Saturday and continued into Monday but is now contained. Another was extinguished on Sept. 21 near Center after burning 347 acres. 

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On September 12, a fire started on Pricedale Drive and burned about 21 acres. Reid said they have responded to numerous other grass fires along the interstate and in the county. A grass fire in Loyd Star Monday was caused by a person burning trash. Citations were issued. 

Firemen had a look of fatigue as they worked Wednesday. It has been a busy month and it could get worse with the normal fire season starting in October. Reid said people can volunteer for the fire departments by contacting their local fire department or by calling the Lincoln County EMA office at 601-833-8561. 

Community businesses are offering a lending hand in the busy time. REX Lumber donated bottles of water to the firemen Wednesday. One of REX’s employees Jessica Crowsey is a volunteer firefighter with Loyd Star VFD. She said people need to stop burning and to be cautious. 

“We dedicate our time and energy for free to fight these fires,” Crowsey said. “It is all donated and it’s a thanks to good people who do a lot of good. We need people to join and help.”

She has been with Loyd Star for about a year and a half. March of 2024 will be two years with the department. One of her neighbors had a fire so she and her son went to help out and it sparked a desire to join the VFD. 

“We need people to join and there are a lot of jobs you can do,” Crowsey said. “You don’t have to hold a hose, you can watch the trucks and do other jobs to help fight the fires.”