Decline in volunteering hurts fire departments around the country
Recruitment is a problem for some departments, but a more common complaint is that it's hard to keep people once they've joined
By Jessica Fleming
The St. Paul Pioneer Press
EAGAN, Minn. — Volunteerism might be up during a down economy, but one group that heavily relies on donated time is suffering: fire departments.
Increased training requirements, more duties, squeezed family lives and less-flexible employers have all contributed to a decrease in the number of people willing to drop everything and pick up a hose, local fire chiefs say.