Meet Danielle Morse: A Young Volunteer Firefighter in Whiting

Dear Fellow Vermonter,

A major challenge that our rural communities face today – which does not get enough attention – is the struggle to staff our volunteer fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) crews. Simply put, EMS providers and firefighters are the first responders to some of people’s most difficult moments, and often are the difference between life and death. And, yet, in many communities fire departments are understaffed and lack the resources they need to provide this essential service. This is a dangerous situation which, together, we must remedy.

This is why I have introduced two pieces of legislation to begin to address the many crises facing first responders and the communities they serve. The Firefighter Staffing and Support Act would more than triple federal support for fire departments over the next five years, and the EMS Staffing and Support Act would go a long way to addressing the workforce crisis we are seeing in EMS across Vermont and the country.

But you and I know that, as Vermonters, we cannot simply wait for change to come from Washington. We must come together in our communities and stand up for one another. That’s why I was so glad to meet Danielle Morse, a former Miss Vermont and volunteer firefighter who started in the cadet program when she was only 15 years old. Born and raised in New Haven, Vermont, Danielle is now 23 years old and continues to serve as a volunteer firefighter at the Whiting Fire Department.

I am enormously proud of young people like Danielle who feel called to serve and who are stepping up to help keep their communities safe. I hope you’ll take a moment to watch the video below and hear what she has to say.


Volunteer firefighters have always been important – but they are especially important today. About 88% of Vermont fire departments are made up entirely of volunteers. In 2018, about 67% of firefighters in the United States were volunteers. Our firefighters – both volunteer and career – put their lives on the line to protect our communities, and all of us very much appreciate what they do for us.

If you’re interested in getting involved with your local fire department, please call 802-483-2755 or visit your local fire department to learn more. If you know a young person between the ages of 14 and 17 who might be interested in getting involved, learn more about the statewide Cadet Academy hosted by the Vermont State Firefighters Association at the Vermont Fire Academy, here:

Thank you to Danielle, and thank you to everyone who strives to make Vermont a better place.




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