Houston firefighters learn to use a video chat program that will let them consult with an emergency medicine doctor while responding to 911 calls. Courtesy of Houston Fire Department hide caption

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Chief Brita Horn of the Rock Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Colorado says the department is "always short-handed." Bente Birkeland/KRCC hide caption

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Shrinking Pool Of Volunteer Firefighters Leaves Communities At Risk


Busy schedules and long hours of training are partly to blame for the ever-shrinking volunteer pool.

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Emir Dunn, an inmate firefighter stationed at the Chamberlain Creek Conservation fire camp in California, at work on a fire. About 4,000 inmate firefighters battle blazes across the state. Adam Grossberg/KQED hide caption

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Crews work a controlled burn in Geneva, Fla., in December. The state's forest service has rolled out a system to track equipment during fires, and hopes it can eventually be used to pinpoint firefighters, too. Joshua C. Cruey/Courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel hide caption

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Former Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters walk past ceremonial firefighter boots and gear during a memorial honoring 19 fallen firefighters in Prescott Valley, Ariz., on Tuesday. Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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