W. Va. volunteer FFs, EMTs advocate for benefit protection, legislation

Volunteers want benefits like job protection, tax write-offs, scholarships and student loan debt forgiveness

By News Staff

MONONGALIA COUNTY, W. Va. — Volunteer EMTs and firefighters are working with legislators to secure rights for all state volunteer and EMT workers.

Tunnelton Fire Department Volunteer Firefighter-EMT Crystal Morris is one of the leaders in a fight to gain worker rights for her fellow volunteer coworkers, 5WDTV reports.  The team is planning two rallies– one local and another in Charleston – to gain support.

"We want benefits like job protection, tax write-offs, scholarships, student loan debt forgiveness, things that volunteers deserve," Morris said.

She adds that this kind of bill exists in other states, making this a natural progression for West Virginia.

"New York compensates their volunteer firefighters tremendously, Maryland does as well," Morris said. "So many other states already do this and we're just behind."

Morris and the rest of the volunteer staff are working with State Sen. Sue Cline on how to best create a bill that will pass.

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