HOLLIS — Maine fire chiefs who met this week to discuss staffing levels in York County didn’t have to look back far for an example of how a dearth of volunteers is affecting the region.

Hollis Fire Chief Jason Johnson told WMTW-TV that a home destroyed Wednesday could have been saved if the department had a larger staff. Johnson was one of three firefighters who responded to the blaze; another was a firefighter who rotates among departments.

The chiefs said recruitment has been a challenge for decades and has gotten harder as both training requirements and the number of calls for help have increased.

Roger Hooper, vice president of the York County Firefighters Association, says it’s time more small towns started paying firefighters.

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