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The volunteer system decline is more about, in part, to the training requirements the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has tacked on to being a fully eligible structural firefighter.

In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s a firefighter’s initial training was around 45-60 hours. Now it is doubled and growing.

Additionally, alarm volume is another factor. A fire district much like East Jefferson Fire Rescue answering 4,000 + alarms a year and increasing by around 12% annually cannot expect or believe there will ever be enough qualified volunteer firefighters to fulfill the labor force.

Our county has the distinction as one of the oldest age population in the state. The number of younger adults to draw from is limited in the numbers needed to recruit many volunteer firefighters as needed.

As a volunteer who has served and still does, I believe Mr. Langley’s opinion may have some validity but is not the complete story nor answer it by any measure.

Vote for the lid lift, the fire district is a vital service.

From: Property tax increase for fire district draws heat

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