PA House Committee Examines Declining EMS Volunteers

HARRISBURG – Recruitment and retention of emergency volunteers was the topic of discussion at a hearing held by the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee in Harrisburg. The committee heard testimony from emergency responder organizations and township and borough officials about the rapid decrease in volunteers and what can be done to reverse the trend. Rep. Will Tallman of Adams & York Counties said lawmakers would like to find a way to reduce the amount of time volunteers spend on fund-raising so they can concentrate on their emergency duties. Tallman said there were about 300,000 emergency volunteers in the late 1970′s. Now there are about 60,000 EMS volunteers. He added if we can remove some of the burden of fund raising from local emergency organizations, he thinks it would be a big benefit. But the question is always going to be where can you find the money.

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