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Texas volunteer firefighters question state support

Published On: Jun 10 2013 09:24:39 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 10 2013 01:16:07 PM CDT

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -

Volunteer firefighters say they need more state funding as a bill would divert some of the money from a fund originally dedicated to assist them.

Lawmakers this year decided to send $18.5 million each of the next two years to the Texas A&M Forest Service. The service will distribute $12.5 million in grants to volunteer fire departments and keep the rest for costs.
    
The money comes from the Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Fund, which takes in insurance and fireworks tax revenues.
    
But Chris Barron, president of the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas, said he's "puzzled about why the Legislature hasn't stepped up to the plate to support our volunteers."