Fire departments hold RecruitNY campaign this weekend looking for volunteer firefighters

This weekend, 524 volunteer fire departments across New York State will open their doors to show you what they do, and what it's like to be a volunteer firefighter.

You're invited to your community volunteer fire station Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and April 28. Those interested will get tours of the station, and may even get to try on some of the gear.

The RecruitNY program is in its third year. In the last year and a half, it has brought 4,000 new faces to the badge across the state.

But for every 10 new members that come in, firefighters say at least one veteran member leaves.

"We need big numbers, because you have to remember as this goes on, we're still losing a certain amount of members too," says Gordy Kotars, Vice Chair of Public Relations for the Firemen's Association of the State of New York (FASNY). "People grow old, they start retiring, they can't fight fires anymore. They move away. So for every member we take in, we hope we aren't losing anymore," Kotars says.

Last year, as a result of RecruitNY Weekend, the Mattydale Fire Department took on 9 new members. The Manlius Fire Department recruited 21.

Local departments say volunteers are needed in every aspect of running the firehouse, so the emergency responders can continue to protect you and your family.

"Many fire departments have auxiliary or corporate members that can fill those positions. Whether they may be an accountant, someone who is a mechanic or any of those functions, if there's someone who is available for those type of positions, we encourage them to contact their fire department," says Gunther Michael, former chief of the Mattydale Fire Department. "They may have opportunities to help out in anyway they feel possible."