New legislation could make changes for volunteer fire departments

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 9:58 AM EDT
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KINGWOOD, W.Va (WDTV) - West Virginia legislature proposed a bill that would change the requirements for Volunteer Fire Departments.

Preston County Volunteer Fire Department leaders got together to discuss new legislation that would give the state Fire Commission and Fire Marshal power over Volunteer Fire Departments and their requirements. The bill would also allow people with specialized skills who are not firefighters be a part of the department specifically to conduct said skills.

William Larew with the Newburg Volunteer Fire Department said he felt that the new additions would put more strain on volunteers.

“We are all tired. I’ve been doing this for 29 years. You know most people my age would be out on there boat or doing something besides this. But we love serving our communities,” he said.

Larew added that they already require 140 hours of training before volunteers are able to go out in the field. He felt departments had a hard time getting people to join because of this.

“Now we’re going to add some more to it and then we wonder why we’re all understaffed we can’t get people,” he said.

Larew said the bill was awaiting the governor’s approval.

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