The number of volunteer firefighters in Chester County seems to be shrinking, we reported last Sunday, though no one has exact numbers. The drop has many causes, though a major one seems to be that we are no longer a partly rural county where many people worked close to their homes and their fire company.

Do you have any suggestions for encouraging more people to volunteer for their fire company? Or should most towns go to a smaller version of a paid, full-time professional force like those in big cities such as Philadelphia, even if that requires a big tax increase or assessment on local homeowners?

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