Nearly 400 fire departments across New York State have already signed up for the seventh annual RecruitNY weekend, a major initiative of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY). On April 29-30, firehouses across the state will open their doors to the public in an effort to increase membership in the volunteer fire service. In Rockland County Nanuet Fire Dept. on Prospect St. will host a recruitment event on April 29 and SW Johnson will host a recruitment event on April 29 and 30.
Members of the public are invited to visit their local firehouses, where volunteer firefighters will be conducting tours of their facilities, demonstrating firefighting techniques, and allowing visitors to try on turnout gear. These activities, and more, will give visitors a taste of what it means to be in the fire service, and volunteer firefighters will be on hand to discuss the requirements and rewards of joining. All are welcome and encouraged to attend, including families with children.
“Joining the volunteer fire service has been the most rewarding experience of my life, and I know I am not alone in saying that,” said FASNY President Ken Pienkowski. “Hundreds of volunteer fire departments across New York will be participating in RecruitNY, and we invite all New Yorkers to visit with their local firehouses. Visitors may be surprised to find their very own neighbors and friends already serving in the fire department, and just may be inspired to join them in protecting the community.”
The volunteer fire service is an integral part of both life and the economy in New York State. In 2016, FASNY released an economic impact report, which quantifies the value of the volunteer fire service and its associated tax savings throughout the state. The report concluded that the annual cost of a replacement, all-paid fire service would be $3.87 billion. Furthermore, property taxes in New York State would rise by an estimated average of 26.5%. These figures do not factor in the costs of acquiring the necessary facilities and equipment needed to accommodate a paid fire service. The volunteer fire service, and efforts like RecruitNY, make the State not only safer, but also more affordable.
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.