Fire chief: help dangerously low in Pend Oreille County


CUSICK, Wash. -Fire District 5 is in dire need of volunteers, according to the station's chief Jay Foster.

"If nobody comes out and there's a fire, they ain't going to have no help. They ain't going to have no help for a long time," he said.

The station currently has 11 volunteers, all on-call. Only seven are trained firefighters and even fewer are EMTs.

According to U.S. Fire Administration, 40.3 percent of fire stations in Washington are run by full-time volunteers and 39.8 percent are mostly volunteers. Only about 20 percent of fire stations in the entire state have employed firefighters.

"Your local fire department, if it's volunteer, it needs you," Foster said.

"You don't have to fight fire. We have drivers, we have EMTs, we have people who just direct traffic, we have administrative positions and stuff like that. There's always things to do," he said.

If you'd like to volunteer, Foster said to come to one of the station's meetings held on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month. Meetings start at 6:30 p.m. inside Station 51 (406722 Highway 20, Cusick, WA). For more details, contact Foster directly at 509-671-2286 or at .

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