Recruiting and retaining volunteer firefighters is a "pervasive problem" across the state. That's why Alpha Fire Company has created an incentive to keep them coming back.
Centre Region Council of Governments Fire Director Steve Bair in the fall proposed a large increase to the stipend for Alpha's volunteers so that they don't have to take a part-time job to make ends meet. The stipend paid to volunteers will likely increase over a few years to make it an easier adjustment for taxpayers, he said.
"We’re trying to be much more proactive here and keep people engaged and interested so that we don’t find ourselves having actually to go out and hire people," Bair said.