CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new public service announcement is aiming to recruit new volunteer firefighters across North Carolina.
The PSA was produced by the North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs thanks to $1 million from FEMA.
Nearly three-quarters of firefighters in North Carolina are volunteers (72%) and about 90 percent of fire departments in the state are all or mostly volunteer, according to FEMA. Since 2016, North Carolina fire departments have lost an average of 600 firefighters a year.
Fire chiefs say the shortage has ripple effects on all fire departments. If one state is short on volunteers, it may rely on other nearby departments in emergencies.