PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa (WTAJ) – The Punxsutawney Fire Department is in critical need of members as they continue to help keep their community safe.

The fire department says they are struggling to field a day crew as only four or five members are able to go to a fire. This coupled with older members make it difficult for the department to operate and causes delays with response times which can be the difference between life and death.

“It’s slower because you’re waiting for people to come and call to and wait on the truck and you can only wait so long for members to show up. There have been a few calls recently where only two people were on the truck to go to a major structure fire.” Company President Tami McFarland said.

The department is broken down into three individual fire houses, Lindsey, Central, and Elk Run. Members can respond to any of the three fire houses in an emergency.

McFarland specified that not all members have to storm into a burning building and said there are many other things members can do to help at the scene.

“There are other aspects that firefighters also do such as clean up at accidents, helping other firefighters with air tanks, rolling hoses and getting equipment that is needed. We have a dive team and a boat crew. We also do community service. We give tours to school kids and have a yearly demonstration at the local high school. There are always things that need done,” McFarland said.

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Members can join at 14-years-old to learn the ropes before they officially start training at 16. Both men and women are encouraged to join as well as anyone interested and willing to help.

Those looking to become a member can contact the Punxsutawney Fire Department on their Facebook page.