ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Fire chiefs who head volunteer departments in the Twin Cities metro area say their ranks are being depleted by the economy.
Volunteer firefighters are working longer at their regular jobs because their employer has downsized. Others have lost their jobs and are moving out of the communities in which they volunteered.
Minnesota State Volunteer Firefighter Association secretary Dave Ganfield says some who find themselves unemployed are retiring from firefighting and collecting their firefighter pensions to make ends meet.
Eagan Fire Chief Mike Scott says his department has lost an average of nine firefighters a year for the past few years.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press says the National Volunteer Fire Council estimates 72 percent of the nation’s firefighters are volunteers.
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