The office of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced last week that $406,000 was secured for a live-burn training facility for firefighters at Vermont Technical College. Sanders said the facility will be a great resource for firefighters throughout the state, but he added much more needs to be done to keep our fire fighting capabilities in Vermont strong and viable. In those cities and towns that have professional fire departments, we need to make sure that these communities have the kind of budgets they need to support their departments. In those towns that support the 94 percent of Vermont firefighters who are volunteers, we need to help them address the very serious problems of retention and recruitment. The simple truth is that in todays world, volunteer departments all over Vermont and America are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the kind of volunteer membership they need. Sanders also used the occasion to thank Vermont firefighting community, which includes 300 professional fire fighters and 5,600 volunteers, for all that they do for the people of our state. These brave men and women put their lives on the line every day. They save life and property. They protect us 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. Were grateful for all that they do.