Several area fire departments will attempt to recruit new members this weekend, participating in RecruitNY Weekend, an initiative of the Firefighters Association of the State of New York.
According to a media release, many firehouses across the state are choosing to organize virtual open houses or conduct other digital outreach in an effort to attract new volunteers.
Some firehouses, based upon local conditions, may still elect to open their doors to the public.
In 2019, more than 600 fire departments across the state held recruitment open houses, a FASNY media release said.
In 2020, the rapid onset of COVID 19 forced the cancellation of RecruitNY Weekend.
“Hundreds of volunteer fire departments across New York will be participating in RecruitNY. We invite all New Yorkers to attend an open house and safely experience what it means to be a volunteer firefighter,” FASNY President John Farrell said in the release.
“After the year we have been through,” he continued, “RecruitNY weekend can provide people with the opportunity to interact with the responders who are dedicated to protecting them.”
Members of the public are invited to visit their local firehouses, either virtually or in-person, where volunteer firefighters will conduct tours of their facilities, demonstrate firefighting techniques and allowing visitors to try on turnout gear.
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 release said.
According to FASNY, area departments participating on Saturday, April 24, include:
• West Oneonta Fire Department, 2865 County Highway 8, West Oneonta, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Laurens Fire Deptartment 34 Main St., Laurens, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• West Laurens Fire Department, 2766 Stat Highway 23, West Laurens, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Bovina Center Fire And EMS, 36 Maple Ave., Bovina Center, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Stamford Fire Dept., 111 Main St., Stamford, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Coventry Volunteer Fire Company Inc., 109 North Road, Greene, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Gallupville Volunteer Fire Department, 109 School St., Schoharie, 8 a.m. to noon.
• Middleburgh Fire Department, 127 Railroad Ave., Middleburgh, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The past several years have been challenging for volunteer fire departments throughout New York, the release said Many are faced with decreased membership and increased call volume.
For more information, contact a local volunteer fire department via a non-emergency phone number or its website.