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firefighting

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan firefighters have new rules for when they use firefighting foam containing industrial chemicals known as PFAS.

firefighter
www.defense.gov

Volunteer firefighting has been on a decline across the nation since the 1980s. Michigan is also experiencing a shortage of volunteer firefighters.

Since 1984, the amount of people volunteering at fire departments nationally has fallen more than five percent, according to the National Volunteer Fire Council. But it also says emergency calls have tripled in the last 30 years.

Listen above to hear Stateside's full conversation with Lieutenant Michael McLeieer about the impact of the volunteer firefighter shortage. 

Gerald R. Ford International Airport near Grand Rapids
Photo courtesy of the Gerald R Ford International Airport

Congress has passed legislation to allow airports to stop using foam containing PFAS chemicals.

Under current law, commercial airports must use firefighting foam that contains toxic chemicals known as PFAS. However, Congress wants that to change.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan firefighters came in from across the state this week to rally in Lansing,  trying to force lawmakers to finally put some actual money in the First Responder's Fund.

It doesn't seem like it should be that hard, since the Legislature created that fund more than a year ago to cover firefighters who get job-related cancer.