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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — A fire department in Davidson County is in major need of volunteer firefighters.

The North Lexington Triangle Fire Department currently has 22 volunteers on its roster. It needs to be at 50 volunteers.

“Now we are getting down to the bare minimum on numbers,” said Deputy Chief Nick Sledge, with North Lexington Triangle Fire Department.

Sledge says a few years ago, 20 to 25 people would show up for the station’s volunteer meetings. At the most recent meeting, six people showed.

The deputy chief believes some part of the decline began when Davidson County started to see job opportunities move out of the area and a lack of cooperation from employers.

“When they worked at the furniture factories their employers would let them off to come to the fire calls. Well employers are not wanting to do that anymore, so it’s kind of hard for us to get help,” Sledge said.

The department is seeking help in a line of work that requires long hours and dangerous situations. Firefighters say it’s more than a job, it’s their duty.

“Anybody who is in any emergency services it’s got to be something they want to do or a calling for them to do,” Sledge said.

The payoffs are the people they help.

“I go to the truck and I get them a teddy bear off the truck and book off the truck and I can take and give that to that child. That to me means more than any paycheck you can give me,” Sledge said.