Volunteer firefighting is as American as baseball and apple pie. The tradition has been a staple in the American culture since the late 1740's. According to the Firemen's Association of the State of New York, "New York State’s nearly 100,000 volunteer firefighters save taxpayers $3.87 billion every year." The sheer amount of money that is saved, coupled with a community of great people, has been enough to keep the number of new recruits at a steady increase. Now however, as it becomes time for the new generation to step up and take hold of the torch, there appears to be no one there to grab it. According to the New York Times, volunteer firefighters are down 11% around the country since the 1980's.
Here is one interview from the documentary in progress.