Skip to content
Home » News » Fire » Volunteer firefighter shortage threatens local safety and town budgets

Volunteer firefighter shortage threatens local safety and town budgets

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY) is currently grappling with a severe shortage of volunteer firefighters, with potential consequences for community safety and finances.


The association is urging for the approval of certain items in the state budget to address the problem, including a $10 million training fund that offers stipends for basic classes and increased compensation for on-the-job injuries.

FASNY’s study revealed that volunteer firefighters save New York taxpayers approximately $3.8 billion annually. However, in the last two decades, the state has seen a 40,000 volunteer firefighter decline, stretching resources to their limits.


John D’Alessandro of FASNY warns that if the budget proposals do not pass, it will become even more challenging to staff stations. The number of volunteer firefighters has decreased from 120,000 in the early 2000s to around 80,000 today, while the complexity and frequency of calls continue to grow.