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Queensbury, NY. Three Queensbury Volunteer Fire Companies will be open their doors to area residents, so they can learn about what it takes to be a volunteer firefighter in their community as part of the sixth annual RecruitNY statewide initiative. Over the last several years, it has been very tough for many fire departments throughout New York State to recruit and retain volunteers for a variety of reasons. Like most volunteer fire departments, several Queensbury fire Companies need to bolster their emergency responder numbers so they can continue to provide the optimum level of protection for their residents.
As part of RecruitNY, on the weekend of April 23-24 these three area fire houses will join volunteer fire departments all across the state at their respective firehouses as part of a unified recruitment drive:
Not only will RecruitNY be an opportunity to highlight the rewards and responsibilities that come with being a volunteer firefighter, it will also raise public awareness about the need for volunteers.
During the open houses, the fire companies will conduct tours of their stations and firefighter apparatus, allow visitors to try on firefighter gear, and provide activities and fascinating informational opportunities throughout the firehouse for visitors. They will 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.
“Come on out and join us for this unique informational and recruitment day at one of our firehouses,” echo the three Chiefs. “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 area residents to join our fire service family.”
North Queensbury Chief Jeff Baertschi adds that; “We also want to take the opportunity to let the community we are more than a fire company. We are trained, and equipped to respond to all manner or emergency calls from vehicle wrecks to mountain, water and ice rescues and even assist the community with medical emergencies and storm damage. We are their 911.”
Established in 2011, RecruitNY is a joint undertaking by the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY), the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs (NYSAFC), 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 and countless community fire departments just like these three Queensbury companies.
The goal of RecruitNY is that the collaborative effort among volunteer fire departments statewide will help increase the number of volunteer firefighters. RecruitNY is one example of FASNY’s key initiatives to recruit and retain volunteers. Over the past couple of years, 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.