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State lawmaker concerned with potential cuts in aid for fire training schools

During a recent meeting of the state legislature's Fire and EMS caucus, member JP Sredzinski was critical of potential cuts in aid to fire training schools.  The Monroe and Newtown Representative says firefighters need constant training and the responsibility would then fall to the student or on municipalities.  He believes that would disuade a lot of firefighters from joining career departments, and certainly from volunteering.  If it becomes a municipal responsibility, that trickles down to property tax payers.  Sredzinski says everything is linked to stability in municipal aid.  He notes that if his towns had lost Education Cost Sharing funding of $7 million, as initially proposed, that would have impacted the entire town.  Sredzinski says that would have become a shared sacrifice by everyone through difficult cutting decisions elsewhere.  He added that it would be criminal for officials to say to volunteers that they have to pay to train, and then to also donate hours upon hours of their time to protect the community.

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Rich Valdes

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