The Eaton’s Neck Fire Department will open its doors to area residents, so they can learn about what it takes to be a volunteer firefighter in their community as part of the fifth annual RecruitNY statewide initiative. Over the last several years, it has been very tough for many fire departments throughout New York State to recruit and retain volunteers for a variety of reasons. Like most volunteer fire departments, the Eaton’s Neck Fire Department needs to bolster its emergency responder numbers so it can continue to provide the optimum level of protection for its residents.
As part of RecruitNY, on Saturday, April 25 between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., the Eaton’s Neck Fire Department will join volunteer fire departments all across the state at their respective firehouses for a unified recruitment drive. Not only will RecruitNY be an opportunity to highlight the rewards and responsibilities that come with being a volunteer firefighter, it will also raise public awareness about the need for volunteers.
Throughout the day, the Eaton’s Neck Fire Department will conduct tours of the station and firefighter apparatus, allow visitors to try on firefighter gear, and provide activities and fascinating informational opportunities throughout the firehouse for visitors. The fire department will discuss the requirements to be a volunteer, as well as conduct demonstrations, answer questions, and let visitors know how to get involved in the fire department.
Last year, more than 500 fire departments in 55 counties across the state held recruitment open houses. FASNY is hoping for an even higher turnout this year.
The goal of RecruitNY is that the collaborative effort among volunteer fire departments statewide will help increase the number of volunteer firefighters. RecruitNY is one example of FASNY’s key initiatives to recruit and retain volunteers. Over the past couple of years, FASNY has worked exceptionally hard to build and deploy a multi-tiered plan for helping New York State’s more than 1,700 volunteer fire departments recruit more than 15,000 new volunteer firefighters across the state by utilizing federal SAFER grant funds for programs including the “Fire in You” advertising campaign, FASNY HELP community college tuition reimbursement program, and recruitment training classes.
Established in 2011, RecruitNY is a joint undertaking by the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY), the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs (NYSAFC), Association of Fire Districts of New York State, Volunteer Fire Police Association of the State of New York, and County Fire Coordinators Association of the State of New York.