“I’ve been involved in the fire services since 2003 and over that time period from 2004, 2005 up until now we have slowly seen it decrease. Everyone is busy and it seems like the younger generation isn’t interested in whatever reason,” says Boonville Fire Department Chief Steven Byers.This is why Republican Representative Randy Frye introduced House Bill 1064. It has already passed through the House, but if it does become law, volunteer firefighters across the state could get free tuition to attend Ivy Tech. They are hoping incentives like that will catch the attention of millennials.“It gives them an opportunity to get an education and get some of that covered where they can work towards a degree and get the help that they need financially. So it’s a huge incentive for the volunteer fire departments,” says Chief Byers.Fire departments statewide are not the only ones seeing a decline in interest. Evansville Police say 25 years ago, they used to get 1,100 to 1,200 applications, but now they get about 200 on average.“Law enforcement as a profession has really been under the microscope for the last few years. For officers that come to work every day and do a good job and are professional, to have every decision second-guessed and micromanaged and to face unwarranted criticism in their community, it’s not appealing for a young person to come in and put up with things like that,” says Evansville Police Sergeant Jason Cullum.This decline is a trend seen all over the country and officials say a lot of it has to do with competitive wages.“There are so many private sector jobs that pay well that have good pension plans so that there are things that are seen as job security in the government sector whether it be firefighters or police officers that people felt like they were getting those same job securities in the private sector,” says Sgt. Jason Cullum.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail Proposed Incentives Could Help Attract More FirefightersFebruary 1ST, 2019 JOYLYN BUKOVAC INDIANAFire officials say over the last 10 years they have seen a major decline in the number of people applying to become firefighters. Although, they are not the only ones having a hard time. Police departments in the tri-state are also seeing a drop in applications because of competition with the private sector.
Police in Burundi have fired teargas and water cannon to disperse protesters calling for the president not to run for a third term, as tensions continue to rise in the central African country.Opposition parties are concerned over the incumbent president, Pierre Nkurunziza’s expected bid for a third term in the June elections, despite the country’s constitution stating a president can only be elected twice.Around a thousand opposition activists attempted to gather in the centre of the capital Bujumbura on Friday, but police blocked their path, briefly detaining several protesters.Some protesters threw stones, prompting police to respond with tear gas and water cannon, eventually restoring calm.At least two policemen were injured in the clashes.Chauvineau Mugwengezo, president of the opposition UPD party, criticised the security clampdown and called for more demonstrations. read more