EMS and Fire Volunteer Shortage Prompts Government Legislators To Hold Meeting

RAINELLE, WV (WOAY) – With the shortage of volunteers, it’s creating problems for local fire departments in our area.

A roundtable meeting in Rainelle took place today with selective government legislators to talk about shortages of recruitment of volunteers in fire and EMS departments across West Virginia.

While the number of volunteers is declining, the number of calls has increased which creates the potential for problems in smaller, more rural communities who heavily depend on those volunteers to keep them safe.

“The simplest solution and I think what is best, is to reinstate a percentage of surcharge that folks pay from their Insurance that originally went to volunteer fire departments, and it was divided. There was an effort to reinstate that this past year in legislation fortunately it failed, but there will be some of us that will be pushing that again this year,” said State Senator Stephen Baldwin (D)

Baldwin says to be a volunteer fireman it costs each department $8,000 for each new volunteer.

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