Several area fire departments seek new members with RecruitNY

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Volunteer fire departments across the state will open their doors to the public next month as part of the 13th annual RecruitNY weekend, an event designed to bring in more volunteers to the fire service.

The RecruitNY effort is hosted by the Firefighters Association of the State of New York, which is also celebrating its own 150th anniversary this year.

Officials said recruitment is more important than ever due to a significant decrease in volunteers over the past several years.

“We invite all New Yorkers to attend an open house and experience what it means to be a volunteer firefighter,” said FASNY President John Farrell.

“RecruitNY weekend can provide people with the opportunity to interact with the responders who are dedicated to protecting them.”  

RecruitNY weekend is April 23 and 24. A total of 16 fire departments in Oneida County will be participating, along with four from Herkimer County, five from Madison County and two from Lewis County.

Among the Oneida County participants so far, according to the RecruitNY website, are fire departments from: Barneveld, Clark Mills, Clayville, Deerfield, Floyd, Holland Patent, Lake Delta, McConnellsville, New Hartford, Oriskany, Sauquoit, Vernon, Westmoreland, Whitesboro, Willowvale, and Woodgate. In Madison County, fire department from Chittenango, Madison and Canastota are participating while in Herkimer County, participating departments include Cedarville, Dolgeville, Mohawk, and Newport.

A full list of all participating departments is available at the website www.recruitny.org/participation-area.

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.

Officials said 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, officials said. The need to bolster their ranks is critical to providing optimum and expected levels of protection for their residents.

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