Should Volunteer Firefighters get paid for What They do?
Volunteer firefighters risk their lives to save others. They have to question if risking their lives is truly worth it. Volunteer firefighters have a unique job because they need to respond to victims in need within a short period of time. Therefore, volunteers should be paid for their hard work. On Long Island, fire departments always have the newest gear, the nicest fire trucks or ambulances, and the biggest parties; but, they have the longest response times, due to a lack of members responding to calls. This is because members are not paid. If members were paid, there would be an increase in members and member activity. Many Long Island departments often have no choice but to call for “mutual aid”, which is when a firehouse forwards emergency calls to county ambulances or other fire departments in a 10 mile radius, due lack of volunteers responding. However, if they were getting paid, they would not have their equipment as frequently updated, because there would be more budget restrictions. Most people would want their county’s fire trucks to be up to date. For example, city trucks who use trucks from the late 80’s early 90’s, and have more calls, use the equipment they already have, which does the job as well. Nassau county fire departments have an average of 2-3 “signal 10’s” which are confirmed working fires a year. Usually the fire departments respond to automated alarms, or ambulance calls, which do not require new equipment. Many new laws have been passed to give volunteer firefighters the benefits they deserve, but still the volunteers waste their own gas responding to calls and risk getting into accidents to save people’s lives: “….prohibiting the federal government from taxing benefits provided to volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel by state and local governments….” (Fire Chief Par 1), the House of Representatives passed the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Act in October of...
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