Above and Beyond: Fire company recruiting challenges metby jmaloni
by Ray Pauley
Public Information Officer
Grand Island Fire Co.
Grand Island Fire Co. Chief Matt Osinski notes volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention has consistently been given "top priority" by the GIFC, and the results speak for themselves.
Likewise, local and national emergency services organizations have recently intensified similar efforts in response to a steady decline in the number of volunteers, who handle 70 percent of firefighting in the U.S.
Meanwhile, the GIFC brought in six new recruits during 2014: Adrianne Berndt, Dakota Bower, Nicholas Egloff, Charles Jones, Seth Kozek and Nathan Tilkins. These rookies are presently enrolled in an intensive 13-week Firefighter I training course, which will be completed on or about May 24. Assistant Chief Mark Sadkowski and Capt. John Podlucky, training coordinators, indicate that these individuals have displayed exceptional initiative thus far and are expected to make significant contributions when they complete additional emergency medical services training.