More Fire Volunteers Needed in Stroudsburg

STROUDSBURG -- It took several volunteer fire departments hours to knock down a fire that damaged a building on Main Street in Stroudsburg last Saturday night.

Stroudsburg Volunteer Fire Department Lieutenant Mehmet Barzev says that's when he realized the department could have used more help.

"You know, it's the same 15, 16 guys that are doing the whole thing so we have to call in reinforcements from all across the county. It's not uncommon to use mutual aid but to that magnitude, with small numbers to begin with, you're relying on more and more companies to come in," said Lieutenant Barzev.

After the fire, this message was posted to the department's Facebook page, asking for community members to join the ranks.

Lieutenant Barzev says even though the department can function safely with its 40 active members, they can use extra support.

"I just want to bring the community the idea that we do need help, more so than financial help, we need volunteers to come down and help put fires out," said Lieutenant Barzev.

Locally fire officials say the hope is to get more volunteers but on a state level, the goal is to get more high school students involved.

The State Senate recently approved legislation to provide firefighter training to high school students.

The pilot program would give money to three community colleges that would create partnerships with high schools.

Stroudsburg High School student Tyler Frantz is already a junior firefighter and hopes to see the program offered in Monroe County.

"The training is important. It teaches us how to survive and get people out safely without getting yourself injured," said Frantz.

If you're interested in volunteer firefighting, fire officials say the best time to go for information on training is during department drill nights.

In Stroudsburg, drill nights are held on Mondays.

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