Skip to content
Home » News » State introduces stipend program for volunteer firefighters

State introduces stipend program for volunteer firefighters

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

New York has unveiled its inaugural stipend program for volunteer firefighters, recognizing their crucial role in emergency situations. Announced by Governor Kathy Hochul, the program allocates $10 million from the state budget to provide stipends between $500 and $1,200 for firefighters who complete volunteer training courses. This initiative aims to support and attract more volunteers, especially vital in small communities throughout the state.

Lawmakers highlight the significance of volunteer firefighters in areas like the Southern Tier, where resources for full-time paid staff are limited. Assembly Member Patricia Fahy emphasized the program’s potential to bolster volunteer recruitment, essential for the safety of towns and villages. Volunteer firefighters, such as Tim Sweeney from the Southport Volunteer Fire Department, underscore the importance of volunteers as a source of tax relief and community support during emergencies.

The stipend, managed by the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control, is designed to alleviate financial burdens associated with specialized training costs, which can range from $50 to $400 per class.