Local fire chiefs show need for increased funding

Brian Starkey is back at the scene of a DeSoto county fire...the fire that killed his 83 year-old grandmother and destroyed their home in Eudora, Mississippi.

Starkey says, "Everybody we knew was here trying to help."

But the help was too little... And tragically, too late.

One firefighter from the Eudora volunteer fire department two miles away says, "They wouldn't let him (Starkey) go in the house. Cause he was just one man. They needed two men to go into the house. And he had to wait until the backup arrived."

Volunteer Fire Chief Shawn Witt says Love, Mississippi, just four miles south of Hernando, has the same problem.

Witt says, "During the day time, we're hurting. It's bad."

Too few volunteers to respond to the house fires and grass fires... And wrecks... And emergency calls.

Chief Witt continues, "Some days I can get one or two guys here. Other days I can't get anybody to make a call, period, before four or five o'clock in the afternoon."

The call for this fire in Eudora came in at 2pm. But emergency officials in Desoto County are now sounding a much louder alarm. These smaller communities need more help... More funding to hire paid firefighters... So that there will always be someone on duty to answer the call.