2018-12-06 / Local & State

Report Warns Of Crisis In PA Fire, Rescue Services

By Mark Scolforo
ASSOCIATED PRESS

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A report released Wednesday warns that Pennsylvania’s fire and rescue services face a crisis, saying the number of volunteers continues to fall amid funding needs and training challenges.

The 95-page legislative study said there were about 300,000 volunteer firefighters in the state in the 1970s, a number that’s fallen to about 38,000 currently. Emergency medical services have also seen recent declines in personnel.

The report’s 27 recommendations include simplifying regionalization, boosting state aid, setting standards for firefighter training and requiring sprinklers in new home construction.

“Resources, funds and legislative change must be committed to improve the infrastructure for public safety performance,” according to the report that was commissioned last year by the Legislature. “Moreover, we must try to find a

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