Despite recent efforts to gain members, Kingsport Lifesaving Crew in need of volunteers

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – The Kingsport Lifesaving Crew is in desperate need of more volunteers, despite recent efforts to gain new members.

The squad responds to emergency situations, things like bad car crashes or rescues.

“Every day is different,” said firefighter Kevin Risney. “We’re an essential rolling tool box.”

A description Risney provided of his relatively new role manning the Kingsport Lifesaving Crew’s truck.

About six months ago, the organization turned to the city and county for help. They approved hiring three full-time employees, to add more workers to the squad.

“We have somebody over there that can run that truck 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” said Kingsport Fire Chief Craig Dye.

Meaning now, no calls go unanswered. But Chief Dye says there was another goal in mind with the three extra hires – to bring in more volunteers. It’s something he said that hasn’t happened.

“Get it to where it’s going good again and there are enough volunteers to run it, that’d be great,” said Dye.

The idea is that interested new members could partner with the senior responders running the truck. Bringing in more volunteers, Dye said, means less strain on the first responders responsible for picking up the slack.

“It’s hard on everybody, all the responders. That piece of equipment from the Lifesaving Crew is the only one we have that’s that well set up,” said Chief Dye.

Until that happens, firefighters like Risney are in control.

“We’re just replacing the ones that aren’t there now, for now and hopefully it will grow,” said Dye.

If you’re interested in volunteering, you can call the Kingsport Lifesaving Crew at 245-5311.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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