More Volunteers Soon to Come For Wash. Co Fire Association

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - The Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association is hiring a full-time recruitment and retention coordinator for the first time.

The president of the association, Dale Hill said he hopes this new position will help get more volunteers involved.

"[Trying] to develop a program that's going to go out and recruit as many as volunteers as we can into the system and also maintain the volunteers that we already have trained and also responding," Hill said.

Hill said the recent nearly $500,000 federal grant will help hire the new retention coordinator and keep the association going.

Volunteers are hard to come by according to Hill. The association has a 700 active volunteers, but Hill said the association is still down 30 percent what is recommended by the state.

"It's becoming harder...the nature of the job or the position now for volunteer with requirements in training and also we have to spend a lot of time on fundraising," Hill said. "A new engine costs nearly $1 million, protective clothing is a little over $2,000 and a breathing apparatus is about $5,000, so it's just harder to maintain services when you  have volunteers actually firefighting and fundraising activities."

Hill said he hopes to have the new position filled in the next 30 days.

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