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Kansas Volunteer Firefighters Underfunded when Needed Most

Associated Press - April 18, 2017 12:23 pm

Volunteer firefighters who make up 90 percent of Kansas’ firefighters are in need of additional funding.

The Wichita Eagle reports that Kansas spends about $300,000 at the state level on firefighting, less than almost any other state. This resulted in local firefighters having no extra help to fight the state’s biggest wildfire in March, which burned more than 450,000 acres in Kansas.

Much of volunteer firefighters’ equipment often breaks down when most needed because of old age. Departments end up spending most of their training time repairing trucks because it’s too expensive to replace them.

Kansas State Firefighters Association President Kevin Flory says firefighters get their money from local property taxes, so they would need to better advocate for the departments if they want more funding.