North Carolina issues urgent call for volunteer firefighters

Statewide recruitment drive launched


A crucial recruitment campaign is currently underway across North Carolina, aiming to tackle the severe shortage of volunteer firefighters throughout the state, with a special emphasis on departments and associations in local areas.

The recruitment initiative coincides with Fire Prevention Month in October, particularly Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 8-14. The campaign's focus this year is on cooking safety, the cause of 51% of all home fires. Fire departments are dedicated to educating their communities about the importance of fire safety and prevention.

There is an urgent need for new recruits as North Carolina has seen a decrease of 4,963 volunteer firefighters since 2020. Considering that over 80% of all North Carolina firefighters are volunteers, the state is in dire need of more individuals willing to take up these roles.

Volunteering as a firefighter offers a rewarding experience, allowing individuals to make a tangible difference in their communities. Volunteers acquire invaluable skills and knowledge and significantly impact their neighbors' lives. Local fire departments across the state need volunteers of all skill levels and abilities who can respond to emergencies when needed.

"Local volunteers provide the bedrock of North Carolina’s firefighter workforce,” said Chief Tracy Mosley, program manager at the North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs, which is pushing the drive. “We understand that the safety of our communities relies on fully staffed and trained departments."

The two-year recruitment and retention campaign is specifically targeting at-risk fire departments and associations throughout North Carolina. For more information about becoming a volunteer firefighter and making a difference in your community, visit