Chris Drennan, Adair County Fire Department Chief, is looking for more volunteers for the fire department who are passionate and willing to give back to their community.
Drennan says nationally volunteers for fire departments are down by 50 percent. Drennan says Adair County Fire Department is trying to find ways to get more Truman State University students involved with their organization.
“There’s a lot of people that go to Truman that were on volunteer fire department where they came from,” Drennan says. “We want to give them the opportunity to come join us if they want to continue their fire service.”
Drennan says plans are in the works for Adair County Fire Department to start building a new fire station with living quarters in it so college students can live there for free in exchange for responding to fires. Drennan says Adair County Fire Department has a budget of around $80,000 a year and this new fire station would cost close to $200,000, and, because of this, Drennan says the fire department is slowly making progress on the project. However, Drennan says he estimates the new fire station will likely be up and running in the next year and a half to two years.
Among some of the Truman students who already volunteer with Adair County Fire Department is junior Kara Wehmeyer.
“As volunteers, we know everyone has priorities — mine, obviously, school because that’s why I’m here, but outside that, I give as much time as I can,” Wehmeyer says. “With this class, that’s one of the things I’m trying to incorporate. We’re going to try and get everyone that certification.”
Wehmeyer will be teaching basic firefighting classes at Novinger fire station every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. starting Feb. 29 through April 7 and from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 and April 22.