21st Century Firefighting: Preserving the Volunteer Fire Service

BY ROSS CHAPMANIn today's society, a fire- fighter is not just a firefighter; he may be a volunteer, a part-time, a contract, or a traditional firefighter. But regardless of all these designations, the bedrock of America's fire service is still (as it has been for more than 200 years) volunteers. In the United States, the National Fire Protection Association reports that 71 percent of firefighters are volunteers.1The volunteer fire department today is a changing animal, but some of the same problems that have plagued the fire service are becoming even more apparent. Today, more than ever, volunteer departments are finding it difficult to recruit and retain new firefighters.VOLUNTEERISMA v...

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