With five Harlem firefighters and a public safety officer leaving their posts at the end of 2006, the city is now looking for more volunteers to protect city residents.
"We want to keep 22 volunteers, then six on the paid staff," department Chief Jerry Baldwin said.
At a banquet Jan. 22, Harlem city officials bid farewell to Mike Baldwin, Raymond Fulcher, Benjie Moore, Jerry Bullard, Terry Carter and Larry Wolf.
The recent retirements and the loss of a volunteer firefighter to a job-related move leaves the city with 18 volunteers and four dual-trained public safety officers.
Department Chief Jerry Baldwin said a few new public safety officers began training Monday.
Five volunteers haven't been certified to fight fires yet but do have National Incident Management System training, which means they can assist with logistics or other technical tasks at a fire scene.
"They can't actually go into a live fire," Baldwin said.
He said anyone interested in being a volunteer firefighter for Harlem should live or work close to the city.
"We'd love to have daytime firefighters," Baldwin said, explaining that work usually takes volunteers away from the area during the daytime.
Baldwin said volunteers responded to about 140 calls in 2006, including 79 fire calls and 64 medical calls. The job can be very demanding, he said.
After their six-month probationary period, all volunteers are provided with fire turnout gear, radios and pagers and are eligible for the city-funded retirement plan through the Georgia Firefighters Pension Fund.
Baldwin said depending on the years of service, a retired volunteer firefighter can receive $400 to $800 each month.
Volunteers will be required to attend weekly training meetings and be on call for medical and fire calls. Applications are available at the City of Harlem Administration Building at 110-B Louisville St.
For more information, call (706) 556-6262 or e-mail JBaldwin@harlemga.org.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.