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State Senators meet about first responder shortage

Written by Radio Pennsylvania | Aug 28, 2016 7:58 AM
firefighters3.jpg

Photo by AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

(Harrisburg) -- The shortage of volunteer fire and EMS personnel was the focus of a state Senate hearing this week. 

The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee met in Monroe County to address the volunteer issue, and to follow-up on a 2003 commission report which offered a set of recommendations on recruiting and retaining first responders.

Pennsylvania Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay served on that commission, and painted a bleak picture of what could happen if lawmakers don't take immediate action.

"When you are looking at the overall impact, not only the fiscal side of it, but the fact is if when people in Pennsylvabnia dial 911, and nobody comes, shame on all of us for not getting things done," Solobay said.

Proposed solutions include a college loan forgiveness program and legislation now before the Senate to provide municipal tax credits for those who serve as volunteers.  

 

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