The Garland Fire Department is in desperate need of volunteers

The Garland Fire Department is in desperate need of volunteers.

Right now only 9 volunteer firefighters are available to protect more than 2 thousand homes.

Garland Fire Chief Tommy Gay says those volunteers have to come from home or work whenever there's a fire. He hopes Tipton County officials will soon implement a county wide fire protection plan so that fire stations throughout the county could be staffed around the clock.

The idea of paid fire protection is not new in Tipton County. But last week's fatal fire that killed residents Max and Brenda Neal sparked a new discussion about the issue.

Volunteer firefighter Tommy Pratt said, "If we're not able to improve response times we're not going to be able to help a growing county."

Tipton County officials are taking a serious look at the issue. They've hired a county fire administrator and commissioned a study to look into what the county needs in order to address the problem.

Investigators don't know if a faster response would have saved the lives of Max and Brenda Neal, but that's a questions volunteers say, they never want to have to ask themselves.

Click here to contact Anna Marie Hartman