CROWN POINT | The city is looking to rebuild volunteer firefighter ranks after numbers dipped recently.
The Fire Rescue Department currently counts 28 volunteers, down from as many as about 35, after some volunteers moved or got jobs that took them out of the area, Fire Chief Greg DeLor said.
The volunteers complement a force of about 30 career firefighters and remain integral to the department, DeLor said.
"If it's a larger incident or more than the duty crew can handle, we page out the volunteers," DeLor said.
Hopes are to have four or five new volunteers on board by the time of a statewide training session for new firefighters planned in spring, DeLor said.
Putting the new volunteers through training as a group proves beneficial to the department.
"It makes for a more cohesive group," DeLor said.
The department added full-time firefighters in late 2011 to reach the current strength of 30, who work shifts of 24 hours on duty and 48 hours off.
The growth in ranks helped meet demands of a growing community, DeLor said.
Even with full-time ranks at an all time high, "I doubt we will ever get to the point where we can eliminate the volunteers," DeLor said.
About 90 percent of full-time firefighters started out as volunteers, he said.
"They're still needed. That's why we want to have the most qualified, well-trained volunteers."
Applicants must be 18 or older and be a resident of Crown Point or Center Township.
More information about applying is available at www.crownpoint.in.gov.