By Ashlyn Irons, WVUA 23 Student Reporter

WEST BLOCTON – Volunteer Fire Departments are common in small towns and counties, but with it comes a set of hurdles.

This is something that Bibb County knows well.

Funding is an issue, and adequate equipment is hard to come by.

Volunteers with full-time jobs find it hard to respond to emergency calls.

Despite the hardships associated with volunteer firefighting, West Blocton has found a way to bring the community closer together and make it work.

Mayor Gary Donner is proud of West Blocton’s Fire Department.

Donner said “we’ve got a very fast response time, we’ve got good equipment and we keep our equipment up…we’ve had some firefighters go to the 160 course, and we’ve got some trained firefighters, and they all really do a great job”.

According to the Fire Chief, Joe McCool, teamwork is the secret to their success.

McCool said “I’m only as good as the people that I’m working with and we all work together as a family, because a fire service is a family”.

Assistant Fire Chief Clinton Hardemon said the tight knit community makes firefighters work that much harder.

Clinton said “9 times out of ten your going to work a wreck where you know the person, and that’s a hard thing to deal with, or you go to a house fire and you know the person… it makes me care more, because, like I said, you know everybody and you want to help your friends and neighbors”.

West Blocton officials said they have no plans of changing how their fire department is run.




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