YORK – Volunteer fire companies and emergency medical services (EMS) are facing significant challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic throughout York County.
Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) discusses the myriad of issues confronting volunteer first responders with Jimmy Williams, Fire Chief of Citizens Volunteer Fire Company of Fawn Grove, on the senator’s latest podcast episode.
In 2020, Chief Williams’ department has responded to more than 100 calls to date. In Pennsylvania and across York County, most residents are covered by volunteer fire companies and EMS companies.
Phillips-Hill cited a study that showed volunteer first responders save taxpayers over $6 billion each year.
“We know these services are not free, and these local fire and ambulance companies rely heavily on donations and fundraisers,” she said.
Williams said that the coronavirus has put a financial strain on many local departments.
The podcast covers how the community has come together to support local volunteer fire companies through donations of N-95 masks. The podcast also reviews challenges of volunteers going without training or meetings for over two months. Despite fundraising events in the spring and summer being canceled, Williams said popular events like a drive-thru chicken barbeque on August 1 and the annual Fire Muster on September 27 are scheduled to occur.
Williams offered a few tips to listeners during the heatwave. “During these hot, humid summer days, please check on the elderly. Please remember children in car seats. And for the latest information, please check out your local fire company’s Facebook page,” he said.
Phillips-Hill’s podcast, as well as instructions on how to subscribe to the podcast can be found on her website at SenatorKristin.com/podcast. The program runs 12 minutes.