Middlefield seeks more volunteer firefighters

Fire departments throughout the country are seeing a decline in their volunteer numbers, and the Middlefield FD is among them.

“We’re trying to start the year off by hitting the ground running, and get our message out there that we’re looking for help,” Deputy Chief Steven Tyc said. “Since 1934, we have been strictly volunteer, and want to keep it that way. Keep it going.”

With people devoting so much energy to career and family these days, Tyc said many just don't have the time to volunteer.

“Every town is doing different things to recruit,” the deputy chief said. “Some are doing great, some are not, and we are just maintaining now.”

Middlefield volunteer firefighters must be at least 18. No experience is required; the department provides the necessary training.

“We have members from all walks of life, from people with full-time jobs, multiple jobs, families, and more,” Tyc said.

“We don’t want this place to become a burden, because that is not what it’s about.”

Middlefield FD volunteers receive a yearly property tax abatement of $2,000, and a Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) provides tax-deferred income benefits.

To maintain active membership, volunteers have to attend weekly drill and respond to at least one call for service each week.

According to Tyc, the Middlefield FD receives roughly 350 calls annually; about six to seven per week.

The department's new brush truck is expected to arrive before the end of the year. In late 2022, the Middlefield FD was awarded a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant totaling $225,450 to replace its 1973 brush truck. Middlefield was one of only 89 fire departments nationwide awarded grant funds for vehicle acquisition.

To learn more about the Middlefield FD, visit middlefieldfirect.org, email info@middlefieldfirect.org or stop by the firehouse Mondays before 7 p.m. The department also has an Explorer program for youth age 14 to 18.



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