As communities in southeast Wisconsin continue to grow, so does the need for volunteer firefighters. Fire Chief Tim Allen of the Union Grove Yorkville Fire Department has been in the business for decades, so firefighting is in his blood.
"I grew up in this business. My dad did it for 34 years, so I have been here since I have been a kid," said Allen.
He said over the years he has noticed the number of volunteer firefighters decrease and the call volume increase.
Allen said the reason the number of volunteers across the state and nation is decreasing is due to the increase in training.
"Everybody is facing the same problems. I haven’t heard of anybody that says, 'Oh, we got a ton of people,' " said Allen.
To help recruit and retain new volunteer firefighters, state Sen. Patrick Testin and lawmakers proposed a bill called the B.R.A.V.E Act.
"We have roughly 863 fire departments here in the state of Wisconsin, and 701 rely solely on volunteers and an additional 100 rely on part-time volunteers. The vast majority of our fire departments are dependent on men and women who volunteer their time to protect our communities," said Testin.