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State cash available for volunteer firefighters

YORK: Approved is the state’s first volunteer stipend program, which will provide $10 million to help defray the cost of training courses required of volunteer firefighters. The lack of volunteer firemen throughout the state has prompted the creation of this first-ever pay scheme.

About 75% of volunteer fire departments in the state indicate a decline in the number of people wanting to volunteer and serve, despite the fact that volunteer fire departments employ about half of the state’s workforce. In addition to providing fire protection, volunteer firefighters also respond to automobile accidents, medical crises, hazardous material spills, and weather-related rescue operations. These services have resulted in a marked increase in service calls.

Volunteer firefighters will receive a stipend from the state’s Division of Office of Fire Prevention and Control upon completion of the following training courses on or after August 31, 2023.

  • Basic Exterior Firefighting Operations: $750
  • Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus/Interior Firefighting Operations: $1,250
  • Fire Officer 1: $1,000

Fire agencies must fill out the yearly fire department demographics form and submit fire reporting for the preceding calendar year in order to be eligible. Subject to local funds, volunteer fire companies are now permitted by this new legislation to provide volunteer firefighters with a training stipend.

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