TONEY, Ala. (WAFF) - On September 16, members of the Madison County commission spent time recognizing the heroic actions of the Toney Volunteer Fire Department.
Earlier this year the Toney Volunteer Fire Department saved a man’s life. Now, the county commission is trying to bring more attention to the need for volunteer firefighters.
On Wednesday, county commissioners passed a resolution honoring the Toney Volunteer Fire Department for saving Jimmy Gonzalez’s life. Gonzalez and his family attended today’s ceremony.
Everyone in attendance at the meeting gave a standing ovation to the Toney department in agreement that the small group has made a huge impact.
“They got there, the family member was giving CPR to Mr. Gonzalez and the other four medics from the Toney Volunteer Fire Department continued the CPR and were successful in bringing him back,” said Phil Vandiver.
Jimmy Gonzalez went into cardiac arrest earlier this year. Thanks to these first responders, Jimmy was able to be in meeting room today.
“They’re one of the many good volunteer fire departments that we have across Madison County,” said Phil Vandiver.
There are dozens of volunteer firefighters who sacrifice their time, talents and energy to help people in need in Madison County. Madison County Commissioners wanted to shine a light on the heroic actions and also bring awareness that there is a shortage of volunteer firefighters.
“They’re having a little bit of trouble now recruiting volunteer fireman and volunteer fire ladies to come work in the departments and they need each and everyone. They need them for the EMT work that they do, the EMS part of it and they also need it for the fire departments,” said Phil Vandiver.
Most homeowners in Madison County pay a 3 million property tax which is used for the equipment firefighters need. There’s not enough money based off of property taxes to meet the demands, so volunteers are requested and are in short supply.
“That’s something our community needs to be thinking about, what are they willing to pay for? What do they want? And if they don’t wanna pay for things maybe we’re gonna need these folks to step up and get involved in these volunteer fire departments to keep us from having to do that,” said Phil Vandiver.
Madison county commissioner Phil Vandiver says age group where there has been a lot of success recently is with people graduating high school and in college, volunteering.
Regardless of your situation, if you want to volunteer with these fire departments, there are a lot of openings and ways to get involved.