Submitted by the Firefighters Association of the State of New York
Volunteer fire departments across New York will open their doors on Saturday, April 23, and Sunday, April 24, as part of the 13th annual RecruitNY weekend. RecruitNY is a signature initiative designed to help increase membership in local volunteer fire departments. The number of volunteer firefighters has decreased significantly in recent years due to a variety of factors.
This year celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY). FASNY has worked hard throughout its history to develop and implement events to assist New York’s 1,700-plus volunteer fire departments to recruit new volunteers. This includes utilizing federal and state grant funds for programs such as the “Fire in You” outreach campaign, the FASNY HELP college tuition reimbursement program, and recruitment training classes.
“We are happy that several hundred volunteer departments will be participating in our 13th annual RecruitNY campaign. We invite all New Yorkers to attend an open house and experience what it means to be a volunteer firefighter,” FASNY President John Farrell said. “RecruitNY weekend can provide people with the opportunity to interact with the responders who are dedicated to protecting them.”
Members of the public are invited to visit their local firehouses, either virtually or in person. Departments will have many activities planned, including conducting tours of their facilities, demonstrating firefighting techniques, and having visitors try on turnout gear. These types of activities give visitors a taste of what it means to be in the fire service. Volunteer firefighters will also be on hand to discuss the requirements and rewards of joining. All are welcome and encouraged to attend, including families with children.
The past several years have been especially challenging for volunteer fire departments throughout New York, and many are faced with decreased membership and increased call volume. The need to bolster their ranks is critical to providing optimum and expected levels of protection for their residents. Last year, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many firehouses across New York state chose to organize a virtual open house or conduct other digital outreach to attract new volunteers.
Individuals looking to find out if their fire department is participating in RecruitNY can visit http://www.recruitny.org/participation-area/. For specific information, contact your local volunteer fire department via a non-emergency phone number or its website.
Founded in 1872, the Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY) represents the interests of the 85,000 volunteer firefighters in New York state. For more information, visit www.fasny.com.