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FIRE SERVICES SEEKING SUPPORT OF VOLUNTEERS

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Aug. 13, 2001 – In an effort to "get the fire department into the community," Fire Services Director Ian E. Williams. Sr. and his staff are holding a series of town meetings throughout the territory, starting on St. Thomas Wednesday evening.
In speaking before different neighborhood groups recently, Williams said, he has sensed a community interest in helping the fire department. He has met recently with groups in Estates Dorthea and Fortuna and on Water Island, all of whom were concerned about a lack of services.
Williams emphasized that his interest now in in recruiting not volunteer firefighters, but volunteers to help the professional firefighters.
There are lots things volunteers could do to assist Fire Services that have "nothing to do with fighting fires," he said. "But if we had people to help, it would leave more of my staff to fight fires."
For example, "We are moving toward being computerized, and my guys don't know that much about computers," he said. "Maybe there's somebody out there who could volunteer time to come in and teach."
Williams said his intention is "to get together with the community and tell them certain things they could do to assist us." Like fire department auxiliaries in small towns in the states, volunteers could even help with fund-raising — by holding bake sales, for instance.
He said several senators have told him of receiving telephone calls from constituents who voiced an interest in helping Fire Services.
The schedule of town meetings:
St. Thomas — 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, Palms Court Harborview Hotel.
St. Croix — 7 p.m. Aug. 22, St. Gerard's Hall in Frederiksted.
St. John — 6 p.m. Aug. 28, Cruz Bay fire station.

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