As the number of volunteer firefighters shrinks, the efforts to attract and retain new faces at local and state departments are in overdrive. Today at the Taunton Fire Department in Syracuse, state and local fire officials announced their second annual "RECRUITNY" effort.
The RECRUITNY weekend is a part of national volunteer week, and fire departments around the state, including numerous local firehouses, will open their doors to the public, in hopes they'll attract more volunteer firefighters.
"We're asking fire departments to open their station," Ken Pinkowski, a FASNY director, said. "To have activities, to entice the residents of their district to come in, visit with current members, to see what the fire department has, and talk to them about being involved."
Officials at today's press conference stressed that volunteer firefighters can do numerous jobs within their local department, and aren't just limited to battle flames when they arise. Marketing and desk jobs are also available through local fire departments, something that doesn't require too many hours.
"There's a role for everyone if you go to your local fire department," FASNY Recruitment and Retention Committee Chair George Davenport said. "Some people are fire police, some drive an ambulance, they become an EMT, they become a paramedic, and all of a sudden they have a new career."
Here's a list of Onondaga County fire departments that are participating this weekend:
Owasco (Cayuga County)