Hastings County will push back at new provincial training regulations for volunteer firefighters, which it feels puts a heavy burden on the volunteers.
The new rules require volunteer firefighters to undergo eight weeks of training for new certifications.
The warden of Hastings County blames firefighter union pressure for new regulations requiring more training for the volunteers.
Following Wednesday’s meeting of Hastings County council, Warden Rodney Cooney told Quinte News he finds it “frustrating.”
Cooney says the small volunteer fire departments will be trained up to standards so when others need to recruit, they don’t have to pay to train them.
Cooney says police service is mandated for the municipalities, but fire service is not.
Tyendinaga Township Reeve Rick Phillips says volunteers already give a great deal of their own time to the fire service.
The training could cost $4,000 a person and Phillips says municipalities could stand to lose many of their volunteers.
Phillips says many municipalities cannot afford full-time firefighters. Belleville has both full-time and volunteer firefighters, Quinte West has volunteer firefighters.
Municipal fire departments across the county, as well as those in Belleville and Quinte West, will be canvassed to see what impact the new regulations will have and forward the information to the province.