Fire Departments Need Volunteers

The Clearview Volunteer Fire Department will host a craft show in an effort to create awareness regarding the importance of volunteering time to local fire departments.

The event will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 30 at the fire department, 166 Clearview Ave. In addition to the craft show, there will be a bake sale and raffle. Vendors include Thirty-One, Beauti Conrol, Origami Owl, Party Lite, Paparazzi Jewelry, Gold Canyon, Uppercase Living, Premier Jewelry, Silpada, Tupperware, Scentsy, Pampered Chef and Tastefully Simple, among others.

According to Jessica Reinacher, the department’s squad captain, this is the first event of its kind for Clearview. She said that, if the craft show is successful, the Clearview Volunteer Fire Department hopes to continue hosting such events. For Reinacher and the department, the most important goal is awareness.

“Every department in Ohio County is hurting because no one wants to volunteer time,” Reinacher said.

Encouraging others to join, Reinacher said the department holds a meeting at 7:30 p.m. on the third Monday of every month. Community members are invited to attend, ask questions, and fill out applications if they are interested in becoming part of Clearview’s department.

“We know there are a lot of qualified nurses and firefighters in the community,” Reinacher said. “Even if people don’t want to go into a burning house, they can still volunteer by serving as support persons helping with committees.”

The department provides firefighting and EMT training and pays for volunteers’ classes. Adding that there is even an opportunity for younger community members to participate, Reinacher said they have “juniors” ranging from ages 16 to 18 who learn about the department and gain in-house training. She emphasized, however, that commitment is key.

“You have to love this work,” she said.

Currently, 20 members comprise the Clearview Volunteer Fire Department. Half of those members are firefighters and EMS personnel.

“We’re all family here,” Reinacher said. “We all live in the area. We all need to stand together and get more involvement from the community.”

In addition to Clearview, other volunteer fire departments in Ohio County include West Liberty, Triadelphia, Valley Grove, Mozart, Bethlehem and Stone Church. Some of these departments will attend Clearview’s craft show with their fire trucks.

Reinacher’s husband, Shawn, is the fire chief of the Clearview Volunteer Fire Department. He greatly believes that, although their work “takes training and time,” local fire departments “need the community to stand up and participate.”

The fire chief added that the department focuses on training and awareness even for its current members. In terms of the effect oil and natural gas work has had on the department’s work, he explained that explosions have hit other areas more so than Ohio County.

“It hasn’t quite impacted our county yet,” Reinacher said. “However, we need to be prepared.”

The fire chief hopes to work with gas companies regarding regulations and awareness.

Reinacher encourages those wanting to volunteer time to the Clearview Volunteer Fire Department to call 304-277-1230.