Washington County Fire and Rescue Association President Jay Grimes said Tuesday that several volunteer fire and ambulance companies could combine as a way to more efficiently use a diminished pool of volunteers.
With companies facing problems staffing their stations, especially during daytime hours, training volunteers for both fire and ambulance services could speed emergency response and provide better service while minimizing the need for paid staff members, Grimes said.
Combining companies could have the most benefit in smaller communities like Sharpsburg where there is a limited group of volunteers, Grimes said. As of today, Sharpsburg will have 24-hour paid ambulance staff because of a lack of trained volunteers, Grimes said.
Halfway is the only company that has combined ambulance and fire service.