A lack of volunteer firefighters for Riley County could lead to the closure of one of the stations.
Emergency Management Director and Fire District 1 Chief Pat Collins spoke to the Riley County commission on Monday on the state of the Peach Grove Fire Station. He says two of the three active volunteers from that station recently told him they were leaving. Currently, volunteers from other stations have to respond to calls from the Peach Grove station.
“It’s been a tough station to fill with people because it doesn’t run many calls. There’s 13 total calls over the last 4 years, with only five calls being for fire,” says Collins.
Collins says he isn’t calling for the closure of the station, but leaving it open without firefighters assigned to it could lead to a false sense of security.
If the station were to close down, the insurance for those people in the area would go up around 30%.
“Right now we just don’t have that support, and it’s not just us. This is happening all over the nation,” says Collins.
Commissioner Ron Wells suggested they leave the station open until the end of the year to give enough time to find volunteers. Otherwise, they may have to shut down the station.
Collins says the station was opened in the 60’s by approval of the then Riley County commission. The station was created with the condition that it would be supported by volunteers from that area.