Volunteer Firefighters Question State Support

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Volunteer firefighters say they need more state funding as a bill would divert some of the money from a fund originally dedicated to assist them.

The Houston Chronicle reports that lawmakers this year decided to send $18.5 million each of the next two years to the Texas A&M Forest Service. The service will distribute $12.5 million in grants to volunteer fire departments and keep the rest for costs.

The money comes from the Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Fund, which takes in insurance and fireworks tax revenues.

But Chris Barron, president of the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas, says he's "puzzled about why the Legislature hasn't stepped up to the plate to support our volunteers."

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