The region’s full-time and volunteer fire departments are feeling the pinch when it comes to recruiting firefighters.
As a result, the average age of area firefighters is rapidly increasing. Many departments will soon be hit hard by retirements and are in need of younger recruits to fill that void.
On today’s episode, Daily Journal reporter William Moore (6:06) joins Emma and Derek to discuss the strain facing local fire departments.
The Tupelo Fire Department used to get 100 or more applicants each year when it announced tryouts. This year, only 28 returned the completed paperwork.
Meanwhile, volunteer departments are having an even harder time attracting new members. The Saltillo Fire Department has three full-time firefighters and slots for 30 volunteers. Currently, Chief Mark Nowell has 18 volunteers on the list, but only 14 are active. Shannon Volunteer Fire Chief Jamie Burrow reported similar challenges.
Also, Daily Journal Capitol Bureau Chief Bobby Harrison (16:28) talks about the possibility of a couple of issues being brought before statewide voters in 2018.
One would be whether to raise the state’s gasoline tax to pay for needed repairs to roads and bridges. The other would be whether or not to change the Mississippi flag, which has the controversial Confederate battle emblem as part of its design. Last week, Gov. Phil Bryant voiced his support for putting both issues before voters.
And Leslie Criss (25:06) talks about her story on a Tupelo woman who has recently adopted a fox.
Tinsel is a six-month-old red fox that has lived with Laiken Warren for about the past three months after being rescued from a fur farm in Minnesota.