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.

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