03 - 28 - 2011 Budget cuts could force firefighters to pay for own training
(DI) Crucial firefighter training has been free ever since most Valley emergency responders can remember, but that’s changing. With state funding slowly being directed elsewhere, local all-volunteer companies—already strapped for cash & facing decreasing numbers—may soon be forced to pay for their own training. Fire officials are not sure how they will handle the extra costs, but are studying solutions that include company consolidations. Erik Markley, Beaver Springs fire chief, said he is “crossing his fingers” on his company continuing to receive a state fire grant that is available every year to volunteer fire companies.