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We've done stories here for years about the need for volunteer firefighters at all the departments in the area, they're always pleading for help. Well, maybe Manson Fire Chief Arnold Baker has found a way to put an end to that. Baker is thinking ahead to the next fire levy election next year, and how much money he's going to need to ask for. But while doing that, he's trying to get the right number to compensate volunteers with . . . and while doing that, he thinks he's, in his words, “cracked the code” to entice people to volunteer. It's about making them very well off financially. Not now, but down the road:

Baker is a member of the Washington Fire Chiefs Recruit and Retention Committee, and heard a fire district attorney's webinar on volunteer compensation:

Baker says he'll be working up a marketing campaign to attract the 20 to 30 year olds to volunteer, saying, if you don't have a retirement plan set up, let the fire department be your retirement plan. Maybe, just maybe, I've done my last story about the need for volunteer firefighters. We'll see.