A new law designed to make volunteer service more attractive to retired firefighters will help rural fire departments across the state, Byng Fire Department Chief Chris McGill said Tuesday.
“We’ve had a recent decline in volunteers and people wiling to volunteer, and that will assist these little departments that have retired paid personnel in their fire districts that are willing to volunteer,” he said. “They have the knowledge to already fight fires. They won’t have an awful lot of training that they have to go through, and they can also mentor and train officers for those departments.”
McGill said he did not expect the new law to have much impact on the Byng Fire Department, since that area does not have many retired paid firefighters. But he said the measure will help volunteer fire departments in other parts of the state.
Gov. Kevin Stitt recently signed into law House Bill 2051, which allows retired paid firefighters to serve as volunteer firefighters without affecting their state pension.