CHESTER, Mass. (WWLP) – A dire warning from the Fire Chief in the Hampden County town of Chester, there is a desperate need for volunteer firefighters or emergency calls could go unanswered.

Chester Fire Chief Henry Fristik said the number of volunteer firefighters has been on the decline for years. He said they need at least 20 volunteer firefighters to be fully staffed and right now, they’re down to just six or seven. That handful of volunteers is responding to every fire and medical call in town.

The Chief fears what would happen if those volunteers aren’t available, “Can you imagine if you called 911 and no one came to the call to answer your need? Unfortunately that’s where we’re headed.”

The Chief said many fire departments in surrounding communities are dealing with the same issue. They’re holding a recruitment night on August 31st at 7:00 p.m. at the Chester Fire Department.

Local News

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