ALREADY WORKING WITH AN UNDERSIZED FIREFIGHTING STAFF, NUMEROUS CURRENT MEMBERS WILL SOON BE REACHING RETIREMENT AGE at LVFD
SEPTEMBER 30, 2018 – written by WADE QUEEN
The Louisa Fire Department is in desperate need for volunteers from willing citizens from around Lawrence County.
Current Louisa Fire Department Captain Dan Longstreth put on a pair of boots and a helmet for the first time in 1977. “There’s more to it than just going down a street while blowing a fire truck siren,” said Captain Longstreth.
During his 48 years in the business, Longstreth stated he found a new appreciation for first responders.
“It would just be devastating if there wasn’t a fire department here in the communities,” Longstreth pointed out.
Captain Longstreth says fire departments are a vital vein in small towns.
“It’s like water. You don’t realize how much you appreciate it until it’s gone,” said Longstreth.
Once suited up, the fire fighting equipment gear can weigh around 100 pounds.
“When I first became a firefighter in the 1970’s, we had plastic raincoats, plastic gloves, and they would melt,” recalled Longstreth.
Through time, the fire fighting gear has improved immensely.
“When you save somebody or save their homes, cut them out of a car and they hold your hand and say thank you very much. It’s just a rewarding feeling,” said Captain Longstreth.
However Longstreth’s love for the job has always stayed the same.
“You love it or you hate it. I’ve loved it ever since I’ve been involved in it. I’m going to hate the day I have to hang it up. I really will,” Longstreth said.
Captain Longstreth is not getting younger and says it is important to train upcoming generations.
“We’re not going to be able to do this someday. We’re going to have to rely on this younger generations coming up to take over where we leave off,” Longstreth pointed out.
Emergencies do not wait for anyone.
“There’s been a lot of days where I get up from the supper table to answer a call,” according to Longstreth. “We need people,” he stated.
Captain Longstreth also revealed that the Louisa Fire Department is undermanned. He gave a quota that there are currently 25 members serving in the Louisa Fire Department, but that they actually are equipped and need around 36 members total to be on the Louisa Fire Department force.
You do not need a high school diploma to apply but it is preferred that have one.
If you would like to join the Louisa Fire Department, volunteers meet every Monday at 6:00 P.M. inside Louisa Fire Station One, which is across the street from Giovannis Restaurant.