By Courtney Hessler, The Herald-Dispatch
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As volunteer fire departments in West Virginia battle issues with recruitment and funding, state lawmakers have introduced several bills to help make the job of being a volunteer firefighter more appealing.
West Virginia currently has 427 volunteer fire departments across the state, including 12 part-volunteer stations, many of which are at the risk of closure because of budgetary issues.
The bills were introduced last week at the start of the legislative session on the heels of an interim meeting of the Joint Committee on Volunteer Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services, in which lawmakers from the West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates discussed issues with the underfunding and staffing of VFDs statewide.
Lawmakers hope the bills could make it easier for more residents to answer the call of firefighting…