Dwindling Volunteers
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Shortages of volunteer fire departments are all across the state. One local state senator trying to bring an end to the problem by sponsoring a bill that would make some trainings available in an online format. The state senator says senate bill 146 could help encourage more volunteers by making the training process a little bit more convenient. The bill would allow recruits to complete specific training topics online as laid out by the state fire commissioner. Volunteers would receive a certificate upon completion. Logan township and others are looking for volunteers. The department presidents say any volunteers must have the necessary physical capabilities and would undergo field training with a state certified trainer prior to volunteering. The president encourages online training but only in conjunction with real-life training. Senator ward says volunteer firefighters are especially crucial in rural Pennsylvania. "Volunteer firefighters and ems workers, we are a crisis state in Pennsylvania. This would be one small way just to make it easier for volunteers to get their courses in." Bringing the online training into the mix along with the live training under state certified fire instructors is going to be a nice opportunity to mesh some programs together.