Fire companies in the Town of Wheatfield will participate in the fourth annual statewide "RecruitNY" initiative this weekend.
Recruitment open houses will be held at the following locations:
•Adams Volunteer Fire Co., Saturday, April 26, from 9 a.m. to noon. The Adams Fire Co. open house events are at Station 1, 7113 Nash Road, and at Station 2, 3805 Klemer Road.
•Bergholz Volunteer Fire Co., Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 2470 Niagara Road.
•Frontier Volunteer Fire Co., Saturday, April 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 2179 River Road.
•St. Johnsburg Vol. Fire Co., Sunday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at 7165 Ward Road.
•Shawnee Volunteer Fire Co., Sunday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3747 Lockport Road.
The five Town of Wheatfield volunteer fire companies will open their doors to area residents so they can learn about what it takes to be a volunteer firefighter in their community. Organizers note that over the last several years, it has been very tough for many fire departments throughout the state to recruit and retain volunteers for a variety of reasons. Like most volunteer fire departments, the Town of Wheatfield volunteer fire companies need to bolster their emergency responder numbers so they can continue to provide the optimum level of protection for the town's residents.
Not only will RecruitNY be an opportunity to highlight the duties and rewards that come with being a volunteer firefighter, it will also raise public awareness on the need for volunteers. Town fire companies will conduct tours of the stations and firefighter apparatus, allow visitors to try on firefighter gear, and provide activities and stations throughout the firehouse for visitors. The fire companies will also discuss the requirements to be a volunteer, as well as conduct demonstrations, answer questions, and let visitors know how to get involved in the fire department.
Last year, more than 500 fire departments in 55 counties across the state held recruitment open houses. FASNY is hoping for an even higher turnout this year and encourages departments to RSVP to let the community know they're participating at: www.recruitny.org/signup.
"Come on out and join the town fire companies for this unique recruitment day at our firehouses," said Marc Kasprzak, Town Fire Advisory Board chairman. "This is a great opportunity for our neighbors to observe the exciting tasks of a firefighter. Our current members love what they do; they are everyday heroes who help neighbors in need. We hope our recruitment day will inspire other town residents to join our fire service family."
The goal of RecruitNY is that the collaborative effort among volunteer fire departments statewide will turn the declining number of volunteer firefighters around. RecruitNY is one example of FASNY's key initiatives to recruit and retain volunteers. Over the last year and a half, FASNY has worked exceptionally hard to build and deploy a multi-tiered plan for helping New York state's more than 1,700 volunteer fire departments recruit more than 15,000 new volunteer firefighters across the state by utilizing federal SAFER grant funds for programs including the "Fire in You" advertising campaign, FASNY HELP community college tuition reimbursement program, and recruitment training classes.
For more information, visit www.recruitny.org.