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By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
In another illustration of how badly volunteers are needed, the Ray Volunteer Fire Department has had to temporarily cease responding to calls.
With no volunteers serving at the department, it has been unable to respond to any calls recently. However, it is hoped that the situation will soon improve and that Ray VFD will be operational again in the near future.
Elmore Unbehant, public information officer with the Coosa County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments, said, “The Ray Volunteer Fire Department is currently going through reorganization.”
He added that the officers with the CCAVFD have been in contact with the Board of Directors at Ray VFD. He said the association officers have been offering assistance and guidance as needed.
“The situation is that volunteers are needed desperately in the community, and the lack of needed volunteers has caused the department to currently not respond to calls,” Unbehant stated. “This is not a Ray problem; this is a county-wide issue.”
Following the Ray VFD Board meeting Tuesday evening, Unbehant said that as of August 9 Jack Newberry, a longtime serving member and former chief at Ray VFD, was appointed as the new chief at the department. He further said that Newberry has begun the process of recruiting volunteers to answer calls and serve as board members.
“If you live in this area please reach out to Jack and work to help the community overcome this need,” Unbehant stated. “As I said, this is a county-wide problem. Please reach out to the fire chiefs in your communities and ask how you can help.”