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Tenn. Senate passes bill to provide volunteer firefighters with $600 training stipend

Senate Bill 778 would provide volunteer firefighters with an annual payment of $600 upon completion of at least 30 hours of training.
Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 3:29 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 28, 2021 at 4:38 PM EDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Tennessee Senate passed a bill that would aid volunteer firefighters in the state.

Senate Bill 778 would provide volunteer firefighters with an annual payment of $600 upon completion of at least 30 hours of training.

“Our volunteer firefighters put their lives on the line and give up their time to keep our communities safe,” said Bell, a former volunteer firefighter in Tennessee. “They have to raise their own money to be able to purchase equipment and fund their training. I am glad this bill has passed the Senate. It will help make the financial burden for volunteer firefighters a little lighter.”

Nearly 64 percent of firefighters in Tennessee are volunteers. Currently, volunteer firefighters pay for their own training and often times equipment.

“While my personal service in the volunteer fire department ended a number of years ago, I know firsthand that many of our state’s volunteer firefighters are not only sacrificing their time but their money and their resources to serve our state” added Bell. “This $600 annual training supplement will go a long way towards recognizing their service.”

The $4.92 million cost for the annual volunteer firefighter training payment is funded in Governor Bill Lee’s 2021-2022 budget proposal.

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