Volunteer fire fighter task force

In April Gov. Mike DeWine announced the formation of the Ohio Task Force on Volunteer Fire Service to study and make recommendations to improve volunteer fire service in Ohio.

“You never know when you may need emergency services, but you want to make sure that when you do need them, they are fast and efficient,” DeWine said. When remarking about the task force, the governor was joined by Ohio Department of Commerce Director Sherry Maxfield, State Fire Marshal Kevin Reardon and others.

Data collected by the Division of State Fire Marshal shows more than half of registered fire departments in Ohio are staffed by volunteers. While there has been a 6.5% decrease in the number of volunteers in the state since 2018, there has been a continual increase in the number of emergency calls.

“As a career firefighter, I know the fire service is rooted deep in tradition, but the challenges of today can only be addressed through forward-thinking, innovative solutions. There is no single greatest issue of concern, for the volunteer firefighter service there are many – and together, they are creating challenges never before seen,” Reardon said. “This is not only an Ohio issue, this is a national problem, but Ohio can and will serve as an example.”

Potential issues the Ohio Task Force on Volunteer Fire Service will examine include:

  • Recruitment of volunteers.
  • Financial stability of volunteer fire departments.
  • Training issues.
  • Resource assessment, and
  • Long-term stability of the volunteer fire department structure.

State Fire Marshal Reardon is the task force chair.

I'm eternally grateful for the support Ohio Farm Bureau scholarships provided in helping me turn my dreams into reality.
Bethany Starlin's avatar
Bethany Starlin

Hocking County Farm Bureau

Available scholarships
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Business Solutions
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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