Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 29, 2014

Ease restrictions to get volunteers

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — I keep seeing an advertisement on television that West Virginia is in need of volunteer firefighters and first responders.

The reason for is, in my opinion, is that the state requires too much to become a volunteer. It is required by the state of West Virginia for a volunteer firefighter to have Firefighter 1 class, which is about 120 hours, Firefighter 2 class, which is about 35 hours, a haz-mat awareness class, which is four hours and fire officers 1 and 2, which are supposed to be about 48 hours  each. That is about six weeks and three days that anyone who wants to be a firefighter would have to give up in work and time with his family. It is going to be hard to get young people to give that much time so that they can be a volunteer.

I have been a volunteer fire fighter since 1978 and until the past couple of years we have had no problem getting volunteers.

It is my opinion that it is going to be hard to get volunteers until some of these requirements are eased.

Jesse Keene