Volunteers of Hometown Fire Company often host chicken barbecues to help organizations and churches in the local area.

But on Saturday, the group held a barbecue to assist its own establishment at 45 Mahanoy Ave., Route 54.

The firehouse is in need of new faces and new blood to bolster its efforts in protecting lives and property in Hometown, Rush Township and beyond. It doesn't necessarily mean they need someone to fight fires, they say, but if you'd like to train for it, that's fine, too.

"You don't need to volunteer inside a building," says Dave Clewell, who served as sous chef at the barbecue. "You can drive a truck."

And if you don't know how to drive a truck, members of the fire company will teach you, they said. In addition, there's more to do than driving trucks.

Jeaninne Motroni, a township supervisor and one of only two female firefighters, says many important tasks are available for someone with a desire to help others.

"You can change out air bottles, or you can exchange air packs," said Motroni, who also volunteers with Hometown fire police.

Saturday's barbecue featured an open house atmosphere. Visitors were welcome to walk through the complex and chat with volunteers.

Hundreds of barbecued chickens formed the foundation of platters that were available for a dine-in feast, takeout, and even home delivery provided by maitre'd on wheels Bill Arner, Tamaqua.

In addition to chef Clewell and courier Arner, the full-course meal was prepared by George Gerhard, main chef; Merle Wertman, head of libations; Bob Leibensperger, township supervisor and chief in charge of meat tenderizer; and Joe Pinkey, taste tester.

Tom Messerschmidt serves as chief at Hometown Fire Company.

Anyone interested in learning more about the fire company can contact any member, call (570) 668-0274, or simply show up on truck night any Tuesday at 6 p.m. and say hello.