(By Delegates Modesitt, Smirl, Leggett, Kuhn, Wills, Prunty, Schadler, L. Smith, Willison, Houston, Anderson, L. White, Trump, Facemyer, Compton, Willis, Laird, Louisos, H. White, Harrison, Givens, Hines, Boggs, Stalnaker, Perdue, Campbell, Romine, Faircloth, Hall, Yeager, Capito, Calvert, Overington, Border, Azinger, Fletcher, Flanigan, Riggs, Manchin, Pethtel, Angotti, Armstead, Evans, Coleman, Mattaliano, Martin, Michael, Mezzatesta and Varner)

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to make a study of the severity of personnel recruitment and retention of volunteers and inadequacy of financing operational and equipment needs of volunteer fire fighting companies in West Virginia; and to identify specific, innovative ways in which state and other governments can encourage and promote the mission of such fire fighting companies.

Whereas, West Virginia communities are blessed to be served by over four hundred volunteer fire fighting companies whose courageous actions result in saving of lives and the preservation of property on a daily basis; and
Whereas, The viability of organized volunteer fire fighting companies is primarily dependent upon the courage, training, skills and dedication of individual firefighter; and
Whereas, The sacrifice of personal time required of volunteer firefighters has, in recent years, substantially increased due to necessary and demanding training requirements and continuous fund-raising activities and has resulted in volunteer recruitment problems; and
Whereas, Retention of trained volunteer firefighters within West Virginia is continually challenged by the availability of full-time firefighter positions in surrounding states paying significant salary and benefits; and
Whereas, Governmental sources of funding for operational and equipment needs are frequently inadequate, even when supplemented by continuous fund-raising activities at the community level; and
Whereas, The actions of different governmental agencies may, from time to time, have the unintended effect of discouraging such fund-raising activities; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to appoint a Joint Interim Committee of the Senate and the House of Delegates, consisting of five members of the House of Delegates, to be designated by the speaker of the House of Delegates, and five members of the Senate, to be designated by the president of the Senate to make a study of recruitment, retention and funding alternatives for volunteer fire fighting companies within the State of West Virginia; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the committee shall study innovative ways in which the role of government at all levels could have the effect of encouraging and promoting the mission of volunteer firefighters in West Virginia via consistent public policy; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the committee shall report to the Legislature its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with the drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations, no later than the first day of January, two thousand one; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct the study and to prepare the appropriate reports, recommendations and proposed legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.