Lawmakers Prepare to Hike Volunteer Firefighters, Reserve Officers Pensions

Chances are looking good for retired volunteer firefighters in Washington to get their first pension increase in almost 30 years. Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has more.

The last time retired volunteer firefighters saw their pension check get bigger, Booth Gardner was living in the governor’s mansion and Nirvana’s latest album was Nevermind. Ever since then the payment has been capped at $300 a month. That could change soon, as the House prepares to join the Senate in boosting that amount by $50. Democratic Representative Brian Blake of Aberdeen sponsored the House bill.

BLAKE: “Firefighting is a very dangerous job, and these are your local folks.  They put their lives on the line when they respond to these fires. They’ve gone without a pension increase for ages and they deserve to be compensated in their retirement.”

Blake says the small pension hike, which is also available to retired reserve officers, is well-deserved and could be an incentive for volunteer first responders to continue their service in a field plagued by increasing turnover every year. In Olympia, Dan Frizzell.