The county has five volunteer fire departments, each reporting as many as 80 calls a month.
The Lake Jackson Volunteer Fire Department responds to an average of 70 calls a month, sometimes providing basic lifesaving services.
Vince Long, Assistant Leon County Administrator, says, "That's a good thing. Currently they provide BLS, first response to unincorporated areas of the county."
The volunteer firefighters say they do their unpaid jobs out of a sense of community and have something they want to say to the communities they serve.
Mark Harron with the Miccosukee Volunteer Fire Department says, "The first thing they need to know is that we do exist. We are dispatched through the county and city contracts. Frequently on medical calls, we're the first ones on scene because we live in the areas."
Now that the county has taken over the ambulance service, it says there will be some positive changes for the volunteers.
Vince Long adds, "Since we started our new EMS service with our new medical director it only makes sense to extend and include more training opportunities for our volunteer firefighters along with EMS."
That's exactly what the volunteers want to hear.
Mark Harron says, "The new medical director may say he wants more training. I hope he does. It'll be good for the people."
The county says that providing the volunteers with a medical director is a great idea because often times they are first on scene. The volunteers operate under state regulation and are able to provide non-invasive basic life support.
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