Valley fire department holding fundraiser for training expenses - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Valley fire department holding fundraiser for training expenses

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Mahoning County fire chief's are holding a fundraiser this weekend, but the event is not for charity. It's actually the firefighters who are in need.

It takes money to properly train firefighters who put their own safety on the line to protect lives and property in their communities. And since 9-11, training requirements have undergone changes.

"Now they're under the Department of Homeland Security and they are required yearly to get a certain amount of hours of training, so it does put a lot more pressure on fire departments now to keep these guys trained," said Michael Durkin of the Liberty Township Fire Department.

Right now we have $15,000 budgeted per year for education and it's not enough," said Don Hutchison of the Canfield Fire Department.

Training for one firefighter can cost more than $3,000. There is grant money available, but Durkin says even then there is a local cost factor.

"There's 5% match money, so if you can't come up with a couple of thousand dollars, and a lot of department can't, then you're not able to go forward with the grant."

So the Fire Chief's Association will hold a fundraiser this weekend that will help pay to bring in a national expert on fire education. His training session will count for six credit hours of training, and will save local departments the cost of sending firefighters out of town to train.

"For a lot of departments it could be a big deal, it could be part of their training budget," Hutchison said.

The fundraiser will be held Saturday, August 11th at 7:30 p.m. at The Shrine Club on Route 165 in North Lima. Admission is $20 and the Chief's Association is hoping to raise at least $4,000.

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