Home News Laurelville Fire Department Issues Urgent Call for Volunteers Following Captain’s Passing

Laurelville Fire Department Issues Urgent Call for Volunteers Following Captain’s Passing


Laurelville, Ohio (June 26, 2024) – The Laurelville Fire Department is reaching out to residents following the recent passing of Captain Michael Branden Anderson, a dedicated volunteer who served the community with distinction. Captain Anderson, who lived in town, responded to 40 to 48% of emergency calls each year, making him the second most active responder in 2023. Known for being the first to answer the call and drive a truck from Station 1, his loss has left a significant gap in the department’s response capabilities.

In light of this, the fire department urgently needs volunteers aged 18 to 60 who live within 1 to 2 miles of the Village of Laurelville. Chief Valentine emphasized the importance of community members stepping up to help protect property, community, and lives. “We are in dire need of folks to join us,” he said.

Volunteer Requirements

Prospective volunteers must have a high school diploma, and a driver’s license, and be willing to complete a 36-hour Volunteer Firefighter course or a 120-hour Firefighter 1 class. The commitment is significant, but so is the impact volunteers can make.

Increasing Demand for Services

The demand for emergency services in Laurelville has been steadily increasing. In 2013, the fire department responded to 186 alarms with an average of eight responders per run. By 2023, the number of alarms had risen to 324, with an average of just four responders per run. This growing need underscores the importance of additional volunteers to ensure adequate coverage and response times.

Chief Valentine also highlighted the financial impracticality of manning the station with full-time personnel, estimating that it would cost between $800,000 to $1 million annually. “I don’t think the taxpayers can afford that,” he said, noting that as a taxpayer himself, he understands the burden.

Call to Action

The Laurelville Fire Department is urging community members to volunteer and provide the same helping hand that Captain Anderson gave for 20 years. “Please volunteer today,” Chief Valentine pleaded, recognizing the invaluable contribution that volunteers can make to their community.

For more information on how to volunteer, residents can contact the Laurelville Fire Department directly.