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In the State of Washington, we have a volunteer firefighter staffing challenge that is viewed as having both a recruiting and a retention problem. Overall, we have not recruited volunteers rapidly enough to keep pace with attrition. It is estimated that we recruit approximately 3900 new volunteers each year although that number continues to decline, and in recent years, we are losing about 3700 per year. Further, in Washington State, we are governed by a standard (NFPA 1720) that indicates the state actually needs 9000 more responders to provide adequate coverage and meet stated response times.

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