HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM)– According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of firefighters is projected to grow 7 percent by the year 2026.
Currently, nationwide there are 332,400 jobs, which is expected to increase.
Although improved building materials and building codes have resulted in a long-term decrease in fires and fire fatalities, firefighters will still be needed to respond to fires and other emergencies.
In order to keep up with the nationwide trend and need for firefighter response, Washington County was looking to add more employment for career staffing but while trying to do so, hit a roadblock.
Allen Carpenter is a fire apparatus operator for the city of Hagerstown, firefighter, and EMT at Volunteer Fire Company of Halfway and a firefighter for Division of Emergency Services
“Washington county applied for a safer grant to add career firefighters to the volunteer fire companies to add to the supplement staffing but they were recently denied the grant,” said Carpenter.
This attempt for a federal grant would have hired about 30 full-time firefighters to the Washington County staff.