Midway Fire Department in Lemitar is recruiting new crew members. They welcome people ages 13 and above with all abilities and all levels of time commitment.

“The hardest step is to walk into that front door,” Fire Chief Mark Wheeler said.
Wheeler and his crew believe becoming a volunteer firefighter is a great opportunity for people of all ages.

“People can come over here, we give them training and they can walk out of here with EMT and Firefighter I and II training. They can go to these departments that are hiring that require that stuff and get a job right off the get- go,” Wheeler said, highlighting the potential for personal growth and career advancement through the training offered.

The crew emphasized the strong sense of community and camaraderie within the fire department. They shared how it feels to serve your community and be there for them in their times of need. They rely on each other to get through the tough experiences as emergency responders, fostering a sense of belonging and unity.

“It’s a kind of brotherhood and sisterhood that goes all the way across the country and volunteers are the backbone of the fire service,” Wheeler said.

The population and need for services continue to increase as the volunteer pool has decreased. Wheeler said fire departments all over Socorro County are feeling overwhelmed.

“The call volume is increasing,” Wheeler said “These pretty trucks are nothing without firefighters.”

He said despite the challenges, the fire departments work together to get the job done, even when they are exhausted, “we’re just striving to make our community better and you know there may only be a handful of us, but by God, we’re going to show up.”

For anyone who is interested in volunteer firefighting, call: Midway Fire Department, contact Chief Marc Wheeler at 575-418-8330; for San Antonio, call Chief Katie Sanchez at 702 622-0946; for northern Socorro County, call Shawn Watkins at 505 -712-8340. For further information, please call the County Fire Marshal at 575 -835-2029.