NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As gas prices climb, some Middle Tennessee fire departments are having to make budget changes.

The White House Community Volunteer Fire Department is responsible for 6,500 people. This means not responding to an emergency is not an option.

According to the department, in January 2022 they spent $452.21 on gas, only to see their cost for fuel double in February to $925.11.

“If our budget gets so low that we cannot do the fuel for the equipment, that means we are not responding,” Department Secretary Tara Parker said. “We try to use discount cards as much as we can, to help with the cost.”

Parker told News 2 other volunteer fire departments are dealing with the same budget restrictions due to the cost of gasoline. They rely on the community for funding and much of the cost to respond falls back on firefighters.

“It comes out of our own pockets,” Parker said.

As gas prices are only expected to increase, the department is going to have to make some tough decisions on how to maintain their response to emergencies.

Volunteer fire departments depend on community support to remain operational.