The rising cost of fuel is at American’s heart over the last couple of weeks, but it may be hitting first responders. Worst of all, Dylan Huberman spoke with volunteer fire companies in both Centre and Blair counties to see how they’re faring.
Dylan. The Center Hall and Claysburg volunteer fire companies are both struggling to handle prices at the pump and are having to dip into savings to keep up.
“We had to use some of our savings money in order to cover our fuel, increase fuel cost in our vehicles. “If we got to use it, we got to use it. I mean, I don’t know what else to say.”
Gas costs are high for our sedans and SUVs, but fire trucks are supreme gas guzzlers with a fire truck.
“You only get four miles to the gallon is about the average. While to go on one incident, you burn $50 in fuel”
Which is definitely not ideal considering the last two hardship filled years.
“The funding loss was difficult on us. We had to cancel a couple of our events due to COVID restrictions. Our fundraising was limited.”
But with the virus seemingly lightning up, Caldwell says fundraising is the only safety net. “Money coming in from fundraising keeps the doors open.”
Membership is also a struggle, with volunteer companies making fundraising difficult, too. “We need members. We need help. We need people here to help us with our fundraisers, with our driving.”
But in the end, Orndorff says, money isn’t stopping the job from being done.
“When someone calls for help or call me, it doesn’t matter where it’s at. We usually drop what we’re doing to the family and we come to help others.”
If you see your local fire company is hosting an event, please consider helping them continue to protect your community instead of county.