Report Shows Minnesota Poorly Ranked for Firefighter Funding
A new report shows 47 other states get more firefighting funding than Minnesota.
“We’re our worse enemy when it comes to those things because we’re willing to do as much as we can with less,” said Mark Rosenblum, president of the Minnesota State Fire Department Association.
Rural departments have a much bigger problem. Many times they rely on small community fundraisers.
Rosenblum said over the years, several departments were forced to shut down.
“Things break. They aren’t always planned for and sometimes you can’t raise funds quick enough to fix what needs fixing. And the downside of that is the community is at risk,” he said.
He added that it’s going to take years and millions of dollars to bring Minnesota’s ranking up.
“But the reality is we keep sinking lower and lower in a state that has pretty high taxes and has pretty good funding for different municipal things. Its alarming that fires keep sinking and sinking.”
Currently, Minnesota is spending about $234 per household for fire protection services. The average state is spending nearly twice as much with $420.
Fewer people are also willing to be firefighters unless it’s a paid full-time position.
While both fire associations are working together to get more funding in 2020, Brooklyn Park will be adding nine full-time firefighters to its budget.