Fire Departments Across Wisconsin Searching for Volunteer Firefighters

  • Source: WUWM-FM Milwaukee Public Radio
  • Published: 08/18/2016 04:32 AM

AUDIO: America needs firefighters, especially the ones willing to volunteer. And Wisconsin is no exception. Some communities here have long relied on volunteer fire fighters for financial reasons, but are now falling short. A legislative council study committee has formed to address the problem. In the meantime, fire departments are doing what they can to make sure they’re able to respond to emergencies. Ryan Moeller says volunteer firefighters are a dying breed. And if anyone would know, he would. Up until about two years ago, Moeller worked as an on-call employee for the Mukwonago Fire Department. His starting pay was $8.50 an hour, but only while out on calls. “Now imagine that it’s two in the morning and by the time you go home and get to bed, its 4 am, and now you have to get up in an hour in a half for your full-time job for $17.” Moeller says besides the low pay, the uncertainty of the hours is hard on people. “You’re always available, but you’re not always being paid. So when you’re on shift, you have to be in the community. You can’t see family, friends that live outside the community ‘cause you have to be in the area,” he says.


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