Rockland's volunteer firefighters will now have to hand over $30 each to get their face masks fitted after the county decided to start charging for the service.
Gordon Wren Jr., the county director of Fire and Emergency Services, said he decided to require the charge so he could avoid cutting any of the 250 training courses offered by the county to the firefighters.
If all 2,800 volunteers paid the fee, it would add up to $84,000. The department's overall 2010 budget is about $3.2 million.
"This isn't going to save a lot of money," Wren said.
But like other county department heads, Wren has been told by County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef to trim spending.Scott Vanderhoef was ready to put a defacto tax on our Firefighters and place them in an impossible position - pay the tax and buy their own equipment, or put their own safety at further risk.