DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — It is a national problem that almost every sector of business is feeling during the pandemic, a shortage of workers.
CORRECTION: There is not a 200 hour mandatory training requirement to be a firefighter in Pennsylvania nor is there a mandatory curriculum of coursework. The 200 hour training requirement is for Swatara Township.
Now it is forcing local fire departments to find ways to both keep the firefighters they have and bring new ones on.
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It is a problem Swatara Township and others in the area including Northern York and Susquehanna township, are all feeling.
200 hours of training for mass shootings, social disturbances, water rescues, and fighting fire is required to be a volunteer in Swatara Township.
Swatara Fire and Rescue says they are looking at another option: hiring paid workers.
“Some sort of combination system where we have some sort of paid staffing to supplement our volunteers,” Chief Mike Ibberson said.
Right now Swatara Township has 52 firefighters, but they are not available all hours of the day.
Paid workers would help fill those gaps, but Chief Ibberson says it’s too soon in the process to estimate how many paid firefighters he might need.