Fire officials join elected leaders to kick-off annual firefighter recruitment drive
Annual RecruitNY Weekend is scheduled for April 27-28
State and county fire officials joined with dozens of firefighters and elected leaders Monday at South Lockport Volunteer Fire Co. to officially kick off RecruitNY 2019. This weekend, hundreds of fire departments across New York state, including throughout Western New York, will host recruitment events in their communities.
RecruitNY is a cornerstone campaign of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY), with the goal of increasing membership in the state’s volunteer fire service.
During the weekend, volunteer fire departments will open their doors and provide the public with a glimpse of what it means to be a volunteer firefighter. Potential volunteers will have the opportunity to speak with active volunteers and participate in typical fire service activities. The weekend also enables citizens to better understand the role the local fire department plays in protecting their community.
“I want to thank everyone who came out today in support of this critical initiative. It is a privilege and an honor to serve as a volunteer firefighter and we are always looking for new members to join us in our mission to protect our communities,” said FASNY 2nd Vice President Ed Tase. “During RecruitNY, take some time to stop by your local fire department and learn how you can help make a difference in your own backyard.”
“RecruitNY plays such a significant role in bolstering volunteer fire departments across the state. In so many small towns and villages across New York, volunteer fire companies are on the front line of protecting these communities when tragedy strikes,” said New York State Sen. Robert Ortt. “That is why programs like RecruitNY are so vital at a time when recruitment and retention have become more difficult. We must continue to support our volunteer fire departments and raise awareness about the importance of serving your hometown.”
“Volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention is critical to our local communities and the public’s safety,” said New York State Assemblyman Michael Norris. “I will continue to support legislation that encourages and promotes recruitment efforts, and maximizes realistic benefits for volunteer firefighters, creating greater incentive to serve and keep our community safe.”
The volunteer fire service has a long, proud heritage in New York and is deeply integrated into the social fabric of the state. Volunteer fire departments not only answer emergency calls, but they often serve as key community organizations.
In addition to protecting lives and property, volunteer firefighters save New Yorkers money. In 2016, FASNY released an economic impact report, which concluded that the annual cost of a replacement, all-paid fire service would be $3.87 billion. Furthermore, property taxes in New York would rise by an estimated average of 26.5%. These figures do not factor in the costs of acquiring the necessary facilities and equipment needed to accommodate a paid fire service. FASNY said the volunteer fire service, and efforts like RecruitNY, make the state not only safer, but also more affordable.
Established in 2011, RecruitNY is an undertaking by FASNY supported by the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, Association of Fire Districts of New York State, Volunteer Fire Police Association of the State of New York, and County Fire Coordinators Association of the State of New York.
Area residents looking to see if their fire department is participating in RecruitNY can visit http://www.recruitny.org/participation-area/ or they can contact their local fire department via a non-emergency phone number.
Founded in 1872, FASNY represents the interests of approximately 105,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York. For more information, visit www.fasny.com.