EAST HELENA — While friends, and families, are celebrating their 4th of July festivities with fireworks and barbecues, others are taking time out of their holiday to help protect their community.
According to the National Volunteer Fire Council's website, volunteers comprise 65% of firefighters in the United States.
Volunteer firefighters filled East Valleys Volunteer Fire Department on the evening of the 4th of July. Patiently waiting wherever they are needed in the community.
For some, being part of this is bigger than themselves.
"My family has been in volunteer for a lot of years. My grandpa was on West Valley [Volunteer Fire Department] for 15 years. My dad was on West Valley [Volunteer Fire Department] for like 29 years. So, just a family legacy, just going to keep that legacy going," said Seth Bourquin, East Valley Volunteer Firefighter.
The volunteers say that this year's 4th of July was wetter, cooler, and calmer than previous years, but that doesn't mean they aren't ready for what may happen throughout the night.
Even one of the volunteers' grandsons was there, helping out any way he could, wanting to join East Valley's Volunteer Fire Department when he was older.
"What I was thinking, I want to go into this fire department, and then get knowledge from this, and then maybe go on to like DNRC or something," said Tavin Noen, a Future East Valley Volunteer Firefighter.
Volunteers are taking time out of their holiday away from their families and friends during this time on the 4th, but some say it's worth it, helping protect their community with their other family.
"So we kind of like to bring everybody in together," said Bill Wegner, an East Valley Volunteer Firefighter and former East Valley Volunteer Firefighter Chief, "and it just makes the whole volunteer thing work better."