Wanted: Firefighting volunteers in Madill - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Wanted: Firefighting volunteers in Madill

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The Madill Fire Department is recruiting new volunteers. (KTEN) The Madill Fire Department is recruiting new volunteers. (KTEN)

MADILL, Okla. -- The Help Wanted sign is posted at the Madill Fire Department.

"We are two short," Capt. Mike Idleman said. "That's why we're putting out for applications."

The Madill squad is staffed by combination of full-time employees and volunteers. Idleman said an extra volunteer or two can make the difference between a wildfire getting out of control or being quickly extinguished.

"It's our responsibility to get the apparatuses to the fire, but our volunteers are well-trained -- like any volunteer areas -- and they do the firefighting and stuff like that," he said, adding: "They're the backbone of your department."

Full-time firefighters like Gannon Reid agree.

"Ninety-five percent of our county is volunteer firefighters," he said. "There's seven full-time firefighters in this county out of 11 departments, so they're very important to us."

Charles Sandefur has volunteered at the Madill Fire Department for the past two years. He said it's a huge commitment; a call can last as long as 10 hours. But he said it's all worth it in the end.

"You've got to make sure you can dedicate if you're a family man, because there's going to be weekends you're doing training -- it's a mandatory training -- but without the training you can get hurt," he explained. "Then you got the full-time guys, and they're like another family."

The Madill Fire Department is one of few that offer volunteers a retirement package through a pension system. Candidates must live in the Madill fire district and will be trained locally.

If you live somewhere else in Texoma, check to see if your volunteer fire department could use some help.

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