Volunteer FFs in Pa. township could earn up to $14K under new program
Firefighters from Colonial Park, Paxtonia and Linglestown fire companies can register for 4, 8 or 12-hour shifts, earning $10 per hour
By Sarah Roebuck
DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — A new program in a Pennsylvania township offers volunteer firefighters up to $14,000 a year, PennLive reports.
The program was started in response to the declining number of volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania, which went from 300,000 in the 1970s to now 30,000, the report states.
In an effort to reverse the trend, Lower Paxton Township is offering money for volunteers to spend more time working shifts at its firehouses.
Since it started on Nov. 1, the program has been well-received among fire companies, with 10 out of 48 Lower Paxton firefighters increasing their participation, Deputy Fire Chief Brett Graham told PennLive. The township now aims to use these incentives to attract more firefighters.
“The 30,000 were really feeling that pain,” Graham told PennLive. “We are hoping these staffing changes help reduce our response time.”
Firefighters from Colonial Park, Paxtonia and Linglestown fire companies can register for 4, 8 or 12-hour shifts, earning $10 per hour. Firefighters can pick and choose shifts as long as the total amount they earn comes in at less than $14,392 in accordance with federal wage requirements.
Graham said the money comes from the township’s fire tax and was already budgeted for 2023.
“Our goal is to bolster our ranks with skilled volunteers, ensuring our community’s safety is never compromised,” Robin Lindsey, a township supervisor, told PennLive. “By extending this opportunity beyond our borders, we aim to enrich our pool of dedicated volunteers.’’