Nfld. & Labrador

Volunteer firefighters say budget neglected them

The province's volunteer firefighters is the latest group upset with the provincial budget.

The province's volunteer firefighters is the latest group upset with the provincial budget.

The head of the volunteer association, fire chief Richard Murphy of Conception Bay South, says that they're outraged that their needs have been neglected.

Murphy says volunteers rely on the fire commissioner's office for guidance and training and he'd expected the new government to provide money to the fire commissioner to assist volunteer departments.

"It's really frustrating to 6,000 volunteer firefighters that are out there providing a valuable service to the community free of charge.

"We're not into a situation where it's a wage freeze. We don't get wages for the work that we do as volunteers, so the least the government can do is support the volunteer fire service of this province. It's invaluable.

" We're saving government and municipalities millions and millions. Can you imagine what it would cost to pay 6,000 firefighters 24 hours a day, seven days a week? It's just not fair."

Murphy says the government's attitude will make it more difficult to attract volunteers and to keep veteran firefighters.