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Making a Difference: Richland Township volunteer firefighters seeking support

Being a volunteer firefighter is something Tim Meyers has enjoyed doing since he was 14 years old. (WJAC)

RICHLAND TOWNSHIP -- Being a volunteer firefighter is something Tim Meyers has enjoyed doing since he was 14 years old.

Now 21, his time at the Richland Township Volunteer Fire Department has only increased since he started living at their Scalp Avenue location.

And although he knows not everyone has the same passion for something that is considered dangerous, he said the lack of participation and support is a concern.

"And obviously that's an issue for fire protection because 90 percent of Cambria County is volunteer," said Richland Township volunteer firefighter rescue Lt. Tim Meyers.

For years, many departments have been forced to consolidate.

"It's definitely an issue, whereas maybe 10 to 15 years ago fire trucks were leaving with six or seven guys on now some places, you kind of struggle to get two or three," said Meyers.

"Times do change, time is expected to change. And you want change as long as it is change for the better," said Richland Township volunteer firefighter rescue Capt. Chris Guizio.

Guizio believes the lack of interest comes from the changes in today's society.

Not having enough time or just being afraid are reasons I’m told people don't sign up.

But Guizio said while he gets that not everyone wants to run into a burning building, there are other ways to volunteer that will keep departments like Richland’s alive.

"We do upwards of 10 to 15 fundraisers every year," Guzio said. "Whether it be individual to sell tickets, whether it be individuals to collect tickets at the door.”

"If you can give an hour or two a week that's all we're really asking. It's just enough that you can pitch in a little bit to help or make a couple calls a week,” Meyers added.

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