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A remark about the decreased satffing of volunteers in the north country. I was a former fire chief and AEMT3 in the late 1980’s. My old friend Dan’s comments got the old blood churning.
This was a problem 30 years ago as well. Yes, I agree politicians have to create a good training system with as few hours as possible for both EMS and Fire. EMS certificates should go from 3 year certificates to a license and have continual education just as a LPN or RN does, this will eliminate time and money in classroom and lead to more career minded EMS staff.
When I was a chief the town would contract to our fire company $5000 for fire protection and $10,000 for EMS. When local municipalities pays thousands of dollars for trash and a small pocket of cash for fire and EMS protection. The thought of having a paid firefighter for each fire company does not seem that much more expensive.
We used a automatic mutual aid for structure fires when I was a chief and the dispatcher would tone out 2 or 3 departments on the first call. It worked really good for the day time during the week.
New York State should be able to give tax benfits for all volunteers at a minimum level and the volunteers that are more active should get a bigger tax break. Shortage levels always come down to time and money. If the local municipalities do not have the money then I guess they do not have the time to protect there citizens.
I really miss being a volunteer firefighter/paramedic, between injury and relocation has taken the big part of my life away. I still remeber the great days and for some reason the bad days do not seem to be quitre so bad. Take care and be safe, Joel.