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Maine fire departments face a shortage of volunteers

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    Maine fire departments face a shortage of volunteers - Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel | of | Share this photo

    Tim Theriault, chief of the volunteer fire department in China Village, sits by one of his trucks on Feb. 19. Theriault has only four volunteer firefighters younger than 50. Some of his volunteers are in poor health while others have no time for additional training they need.

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    Maine fire departments face a shortage of volunteers - David Leaming/Morning Sentinel | of | Share this photo

    Terry Bell is the fire chief in Farmington, where voters decided last year to increase the number of per-diem firefighters to a rotating list of two or three at a time, working shifts during the day, seven days a week. Starting pay for per-diem firefighters in Farmington is $8.50 an hour, with no benefits.

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    Maine fire departments face a shortage of volunteers - Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal | of | Share this photo

    Chesterville firefighter Conley Gould Jr., left, and Assistant Fire Chief John Archer inspect one of their fire trucks on Feb. 24 at the fire station in Chesterville.

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    Maine fire departments face a shortage of volunteers - Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal | of | Share this photo

    Chesterville Fire Lt. Joseph Hastings makes sure that a flashlight works while he and other firefighters check over two of the department's trucks on Feb. 24 at the fire station in Chesterville.

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    Maine fire departments face a shortage of volunteers - Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal | of | Share this photo

    Lt. Joseph Hastings takes a fire rescue truck out for a drive on Feb. 24 at the fire station in Chesterville.

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    Maine fire departments face a shortage of volunteers - Joe Phelan/ | of | Share this photo

    Firefighters inspect one of their fire rescue truck on Feb. 24 at the fire station in Chesterville.

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    Maine fire departments face a shortage of volunteers - David Leaming/Morning Sentinel | of | Share this photo

    Farmington firefighters Kyle Ellis, left, and Mike Booker do a daily inspection of air packs at the Farmington Fire Department on Feb. 23. Ellis is also deputy fire chief of the Wilton department, and Booker is the fire chief in Jay. The firefighters and others participate in regional efforts to save money and resources.

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    Maine fire departments face a shortage of volunteers - David Leaming/Morning Sentinel | of | Share this photo

    Skowhegan Fire Chief Shawn Howard is working with Madison's fire department to provide services. The departments have struggled in recent years to maintain enough volunteer firefighters.

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