Of the more than 1 million firefighters serving the United States, 65 percent are volunteers, and nearly 95 percent of those volunteers protect rural communities with fewer than 25,000 people.

Volunteer firefighters, as the name implies, are unpaid, yet their training requirements are similar to career firefighters. This includes hundreds of hours of training and continuing education in hazardous materials handling, EMT training, and confined space training. The paperwork and compliance testing are just as relentless. While all firefighters serve their communities, volunteers do so for free, in their spare

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