Senator Bernie Sanders held a Town Meeting on Saturday, January 29, 2022. For over two hours, he along with panelists from career and volunteer departments discussed the challenges facing fire and EMS departments. The causes are many, presenters acknowledged. They include stress on workers from call volume increases, costly and time-consuming training requirements, and competition for talent in a tight job market.
“The fire service and EMS in Vermont and across this country are facing serious challenges, and neither career nor volunteer departments are immune,” said Sanders. “We will be discussing the reasons why we are where we are, and there are a lot of reasons. As I think all of you know, in the state of Vermont over 80% of fire departments are volunteer, while larger communities are served by career departments. EMS is also facing staffing shortages."
View Bernie's virtual Town Meeting (streamed on Facebook) - click here
Listen to NPR - Calls to volunteer fire departments are at a high but they have few first responders
Click here for NECN - ‘We Are Behind the 8-Ball': Vermont Fire Departments Need Recruits