We went from equipment that was refurbished farm and business equipment to actually made for fire equipment trucks. We went from Citizens Band radios to walkie-talkies and monitors that would tell us when there was a call and where. Even to the point that many if not all members had radios themselves, not just monitors. Our trucks had true radios dedicated only to the fire service. The city and county got the ability to dispatch fire and ambulance for their respective areas and either of them if needed. The state required extensive training, something that once again detracted some who might have volunteered. They just could not take the time from work or family to get trained. Certain requirements were put in place that one had to meet to be a volunteer. A lot really has changed from the time I was on the department.
We still have those who are willing to volunteer and work on fire and ambulance departments, but far fewer than in the past. Some departments have acclimated well, others not so well. We have rural and city fire departments we can all be proud of, but ones who need our help. As business owners, farmers, retired individuals and others we need to work with our local departments to grow, remain viable and do our jobs as well. We need to realize the things that those volunteers do for us, the money they save us, the ability to get to and help rapidly. In other words, we all need to work with and for our local departments. And those departments need to do their best to do the job they are expected to do no matter the difficulty.
The townships, departments, citizens, farmers, taxpayers, county officials and city officials all need to work together to have a viable countywide fire and ambulance service. I agree that since my time I have seen a lot of changes, many for the better, some not quite so. I have seen the ability of those departments diminish with the loss of population, business and farms during the years. I also have seen the desire of many to volunteer because of the demands on their time and efforts. Society has changed drastically over the years. We face new and more complicated problems today than in my time. But we all still need to work together and for the continuation of our existing fire and ambulance departments.