Ohio Fire Agencies Say Law Costs Them Volunteers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Small fire departments in Ohio complain that they're losing volunteers who are having trouble keeping up with a 2008 state law.

Ohio firefighters never used to need recertification, but the law now requires them to be retested every three years. The Columbus Dispatch reports that If they let their certification lapse for more than 18 months, 36 hours of retraining is required.

Fire Chief James Shiveley in Zaleski in southeast Ohio says volunteers are people who work up to 50 hours a week and don't have time to keep track of certifications and related paperwork. His 21-member department has lost three veteran firefighters because of the issue.

A spokeswoman says the Ohio Division of Emergency Medical Services spent a year promoting the law through fliers and town-hall meetings.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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