KSTP-TV: Minnesota departments dealing with firefighter shortage, working to recruit new members

EXCERPT: “Fire departments throughout Minnesota are expressing concern about the dwindling number of people willing to do the job. They presented the issue to state leaders Wednesday, hoping lawmakers could help come up with solutions. ‘If we don’t look at ways to try to draw people in, it’s going to be an issue in years to come,’ said Hopkins Fire Chief Dale Specken. Chief Specken said his department is supposed to have 42 paid-on-call firefighters but currently only has 31. And, they’re just not getting the number of applicants they had a few decades ago . . . There are currently about 20,000 firefighters in Minnesota, with about 18,000 of them being volunteers or paid-on-call. Overall, firefighter numbers in Minnesota are down nearly 700 people in just the last five years. It’s especially troublesome in Greater Minnesota, where there are more volunteer departments.” FULL STORY: https://fluence-media.co/2HMEk70