Volunteer Fire Departments Watching Police Jurisdiction Debate Closely

51 square area miles now serviced by Mobile Fire and Police are expected to turn over to the County.  And as talk of the transition begins first responders are watching closely.

“I have a very small fire department, I have about 10 people,” said Fowl River Fire Department Chief John Corideo.

Volunteer fire departments such as the one in Fowl River would have to pick up a larger area for emergency response. State law requires for a transition to happen, but when, is up to local leaders.  Some city councilmember would have it start by next year, while the county feels it needs to start in 2018.

“No we aren’t ready we don’t really know what ready means because we’re still doing our due diligence,” said Corideo.

Chief Corideo doesn’t have a say, but he’s been talking with other volunteer departments.

“The only area that we would pick up from Theodore would be down Bellingrath Road.”

Corideo says more likely his crew would be in the position to help other departments, like Theodore.

“In that area over there we’ll definitely be getting there before them because they’ll becoming from a greater distance.”

And recruiting more volunteer firefighters may be one of the most difficult tasks.

“Very hard to find new members in this area, they don’t have any schools or anything like that there’s not a lot of kids that I can get to.”

He’s also concerned about having enough equipment. However having a larger response might help his department out.

“It would be good for us it would be a little more revenue for the fire department.”

But all that has yet to be decided.  The city council will bring back up the issue at their meeting next Tuesday.

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