Thompson Seeks Input from Volunteer Firefighters

Fire Summit Survey released to help find solutions to some of the challenges volunteer, rural departments face 

BELLEFONTE — U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05) continues his commitment to helping volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania’s Fifth Congressional District that struggle with funding challenges, training expenses and recruiting and retaining members.

Thompson issued a survey to more than 200 volunteer fire departments in the 16 counties that make up the congressional district. This survey comes on the heels of “Fire House Summits” that Thompson hosted in 2016 to better understand the challenges facing volunteer fire departments, especially in rural areas.  

“I’m sure we can all remember the days when joining your local fire department meant adding your name to a waiting list before you were officially on the roster,” Thompson said.

“This scenario just doesn’t happen today and it is a shame. It is my hope that we can find a way to expand the ranks of our volunteer fire departments and support the firefighters who have selflessly served our communities for years.”

The results of the survey will be reported this spring and the data will help determine what local firefighters believe are the biggest obstacles they face while providing quality services to the public.

The next step would be to see what can be done at the federal level to assist local departments whether through federal grants, training opportunities or new legislation.

Firefighters in the Fifth Congressional District can take the survey online.

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