Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Firefighter Perks considered

Volunteer firefighters in Allegheny County may receive special benefits in the future that is worthy of risking their lives.

Councilman Nick Futules is to introduce a proposal to give free passes to county-owned swimming pools, ice skating, skiing, as well as other events at a county council meeting tonight.

"It's a thank you to the people that do put their lives on the line," Futules said. He added that it also provides an incentive for more firefighters to join the voluntary force.

However, there is some controversy about where the costs to pay for the free services will come from.

Futules explained it could cost anywhere between $500 thousand to $1 million per fire company, if the county paid for the firefighters' services. While more research needs to be done to confirm how much the perks will cost the county, he believes it will be significantly less than if the county were to begin paying them.

If the proposal passes, Futules said they can start providing the firefighters with the perks as early as next year.

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