Pulaski’s Ringgold Fire Department Joins Volunteer Fire Departments Statewide In

EMT and Vice-President Scott Grosvent, Lieutenant Araina Redden, Chief Scott Redden and 33 year veteran Bill Larrabee. Photo by Michael Johnson.

PULASKI, NY – Volunteer fire departments across New York state will be actively seeking new recruits to join the longstanding tradition of community service and protection next weekend, April 24-25, 2021 as part of RecruitNY weekend.

Volunteer firefighters play a vital role in promoting safety and preserving life and property in communities large and small, and it should be no secret that it takes many hands to keep any organization staffed by those who offer their time without monetary compensation.

“You are somebody’s sunshine on a rainy day,” Ringgold Fire Department EMT and Vice President Chris Grosvent said recalling the assistance he has many times offered to the public. “Just to see the smile on someone’s face after you have fixed whatever problem they are having, it’s just a great feeling.”

RecruitNY weekend is an annual event that utilizes a massive public relations campaign to encourage residents to step up and volunteer their time to protect their fellow citizens in times of crisis. This series of open houses and advertising efforts emphasizes the need for volunteers to maintain necessary levels of manpower to ensure consistent levels of protection.

According to Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY), the past several years have been challenging for volunteer fire departments throughout New York. Many are faced with decreased membership and increased call volume. The need to bolster their ranks is critical to providing optimum and necessary levels of protection for their residents.

The FASNY has worked hard to develop and implement events to assist New York’s 1,700-plus volunteer fire departments recruit new volunteers. This includes utilizing federal SAFER grant funds for programs such as the “Fire in You” outreach campaign, the FASNY HELP college tuition reimbursement program and recruitment training classes.

Individuals looking to find out if their fire department is participating in RecruitNY, visit?http://www.recruitny.org/participation-area/.

Scott Grosvent and Araina Redden practice their hose handling skills. Photo by Michael Johnson

The 25 or so volunteers of Pulaski’s Ringgold Fire Department have their hands full and are always in search of new members to help protect the community and its assets.

“We are looking for people who want to do something good for the community, people who are willing to put in the time,” said Ringgold Fire District Chairman and past Chief Chuck Johnson.

The training that volunteers receive is as comprehensive as that required for full time firefighters; 120-150 hours are required to become an active firefighter.

“Volunteer firefighters build a very strong bond of friendship as they share the varied experiences of the service,” Johnson said. “It’s really amazing, the full spectrum of emotions we feel between easy and difficult calls.”

He said the shared time and effort leads to relationships that go beyond the four walls of the station.

“For many years we would go out to breakfast before Saturday training, and sometimes these planned social gathering would be interrupted by a fire call,” Johnson said as he recalled a Memorial Day grassfire that put up quite a fight. “We returned to the fire hall with an amazing feeling of camaraderie, exhausted but satisfied that we worked as a team and got the job done… It’s one of the best memories that I have”

Current Chief Scott Redden said volunteer fire-fighting is a good way to give back to the community.

“It’s an unsung job that many would like to do but are not physically able to do,” Redden said.

Firefighting often runs in families, as several generations see the example of community service set by older relatives, such as Grosvent, who saw his father’s passion for volunteering throughout the years.

Lieutenant Firefighter Araina Redden also agreed that family involvement pays many dividends.

“Volunteering together definitely builds a bond like no other, to be able to show with family and friends to help someone on their worst day,” Araina Redden said. “There is just nothing like it.”

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Pulaski’s Ringgold Fire Department Joins Volunteer Fire Departments Statewide In