“These alarms never go off when you’re not doing something,” he said.
And those who do want to help the community by serving as firefighters may face pressure from employers, he said.
When he began his service, King recalled, it was a given that employers would respect the duties of volunteer firefighters.
“Some employers won’t let people go now.”
The decline in numbers, King said, is the reason that so many fires are now fought using mutual aid.
“As time goes on, I hope people keep filling in the ranks.”
Now, King is 71, and Cobb is 74. Their 50 years with the Keeseville Volunteer Fire Department were recently recognized at a firefighters’ banquet.
They look back on decades of service — and forward to more adventures.
“I keep telling them I’ve still got another 20 years,” Cobb said.
“Fifty years have gone by fast,” King said.