Study shows volunteer firefighters' cost savings to state
The Firemen's Association of the State of New York calculated that switching over to all-paid squads would cost $3.1 billion in pay and benefits annually
ALBANY, N.Y. — A study released by The Firemen's Association of the State of New York on Tuesday concluded that switching over to all-paid squads would cost $3.1 billion in pay and benefits annually.
Niagara Gazette reported that there is no serious movement to pay all-volunteer squads, but officials with the firefighters’ group said the report illustrates the value of volunteer squads. The report also found that there would only be a one-time cost of $5.9 billion for a statewide switchover.
"While we're talking to people about the value of career service, it's nice to have some empirical data to show that," John D'Alessandro, the group's secretary, said.
There are about 100,000 volunteer firefighters in New York, with about nine out of 10 municipal fire departments being volunteer. There are more than 200 paid fire departments in the state, mostly in big cities like Buffalo and New York City.