"They're amazing" Family gives Gretna Fire and other departments praise after losing home to fire

Gretna Fire Rescue is looking for more volunteers in order to be able to keep the community safe
Posted at 6:09 PM, Sep 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-26 18:10:50-04

  • Gretna Fire Rescue and others are looking for volunteers
  • Gretna Fire alongside others are working to give the community adequete fire service
  • See video above for more.

Broadcast Transcript

I’m Ashley Engle in Gretna. Fire Officials tell me that they are looking for ways and solutions to give the community adequate fire service. I spoke with one family who told me they wouldn’t have what they have, if it wasn’t for Gretna Fire after they lost their home last Sunday.

“I was hysterical.”

Melissa Stabler and her husband Gregory are thankful that them and their dogs are alive.

“The firefighters that came, I appreciate them so much because my dogs would have died. I lost my home yes, but I didn’t lose my dogs”

Other departments that were at the scene included city of Chattahoochee, mount pleasant and Sycamore volunteer fire departments.

Right now, Gretna Fire Rescue is looking for more volunteers in order to be able to keep the community safe from incidents like what happened to the Stablers.

“These are the moments that we live for, we do this out of compassion.”

Gretna Fire Rescue Chief Danny Hunter tells me that its harder than ever before to find volunteers because people do not want to do the job for free.

Some of the things that Gretna Fire Rescue is doing in order to keep and gain more volunteers is pay for individuals training and adding stipends in order to take the financial burden off the shoulders of volunteers.

“We are ready to respond and ready to help”

Right now, the department's ISO rating is a 10 giving the community concern on whether the department is still in place and if they will run calls. ISO stands for Insurance Service Office.

The factors that make up an ISO rating is the fire department itself, water supply, emergency communication systems and community risk reduction, or how prepared a department is in the event of a fire.

In a statement from Gretna Fire, they said quote “We're proud to state that we currently boast a roster of 6 certified firefighters, 5 more that are in training and 2 members that are support/equipment operators. Gretna along with Midway and Havana are actively drafting plans for cooperation to better provide fire service not only in our cities, but also in the unincorporated areas of the County.”

Chief Hunter tells me that despite the ISO rating, the fire department is in quote "full swing".

“We make sure that at all times, we have people to respond”

Despite the low number of volunteers, people in the community like the Stablers are grateful for the men and woman who take the time to serve them.

“This was my first experience with them, thank goodness, but I think they’re amazing.”

Gretna Fire and others are continuing to put the work in to get their and the communities voices heard when it comes to finding solutions to keep the community and departments safe. In Gretna, Ashley Engle ABC 27.