Updated: Del. Officials Encourage Enlistment in Volunteer Fire C - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: Del. Officials Encourage Enlistment in Volunteer Fire Companies

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Coats and helmets at Milton FD (Photo: WBOC) Coats and helmets at Milton FD (Photo: WBOC)

WILMINGTON, Del. - State officials are encouraging Delawareans to serve their communities as members of local volunteer fire companies.
    
Legislation being signed by Gov. Jack Markell should make the recruitment process a little easier.
    
Markell planned to sign a bill on Tuesday (it has been postponed to a later date) that exempts anyone applying for membership in a volunteer fire company from paying the cost of the required criminal background check done by the State of Delaware Bureau of Identification.

Chelsea Aydelitte is the Deputy EMS Chief at the Milton Fire Department and she is also in charge of recruitment. She said this bill would help their recruitment efforts and encourage people to apply since the job is already unpaid.

"It's going to give people a little bit more incentive to join the fire department," she said. "It's going to take some of the financial burden off since you have to pay for the background check, which deters a lot of people, they don't want ot pay for something that there's a chance it may not happen."

Aydelotte said other measures are also taken to stop the downward trend of less and less people volunteering. Some steps include helping people understand what the job really entails. She said it's more than just getting tax credit and a free beach tag, which are other draws.

Aydelotte pointed out the recent outpouring of love for fallen Lewes volunteer firefighter Tim McClanahan, whose funeral was held this past weekend.

"We're a family at the end of the day, we come together when people need each other, just like for Tim and his family," she said. "We all came together, the whole state came together to support him and his family, and that's really what we do, we are a big family."

 

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