SCOTT, La. (KLFY) — The Scott Fire Department is in need of volunteer firefighters after two I-10 crashes forced the department to reach out for help.

Fire chief Chad Sonnier admits the firefighters who responded to the crashes were pulled from both ends of the department, but more help was required. Sonnier says the firefighter shortage is not just with his fire station, it’s a nationwide issue.

Sonnier was one of fifty chiefs from across the country to attend a chief’s summit in Orlando, Florida. One of the topics of the summit discussion included retention and hiring.

“When you call another community to come help, that’s taking away safety from that community. You’re endangering not only one community, but two,” the chief explained.

Saturday’s vehicle crashes required at least 12 hours of attention, including two rescues. The hot temperature was no help.

“If we had a house fire in today’s heat, [the firefighters] would last maybe 20 or 30 minutes and they’re done. We would have to rotate them out. It takes quite a bit of firefighters to keep up with fires or any type of emergency incident,” Sonnier said.

Scott Fire Department has both salary and contract firefighters. The chief says volunteer firefighters help to solidify the department, especially when the demands of the job require more hands on deck.

“When we had that call Saturday morning, it took two to three hours to cut individuals out of the truck. Those guys got another call about four hours after they completed that first one and they were just done physically. We had to call in help from Lafayette and Duson,” the chief noted.

Scott Fire Department’s incentive to hire program pays between $10 to $25 per call, based on experience and training.