ROTTERDAM, N.Y. -- More than 450 volunteer firehouses across the state will be participating in the 3rd Annual ‘Recruit New York' weekend effort to increase the number of volunteer firefighters Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28.
Hoping to attract new members, while educating area residents on fire safety and a number of other wellness initiatives, Rotterdam Fire District #2, located at 1400 Curry Road, is one of those firehouses.
At the two-day event, firefighters will talk to the community about the importance of volunteering. Over the last several years, departments statewide have struggled to recruit and retain volunteers. In order to continue to provide the optimum level of protection for residents, they are now stressing their needs to bolster their emergency responder numbers.
Beyond simply trying to recruit new members, though, firefighters want to use this weekend as a way to demonstrate fire safety in what they call a ‘Smoke House.' The trailer is designed to help kids identify fire dangers and teach them what they should and shouldn't do in the event of a blaze.
Firefighters will walk children through smoke-filled rooms and teach them how to pay attention to smoke detectors, crawl under smoke during a fire, climb out of windows in case evacuation is necessary, call 9-1-1 once they are outside of the burning building and how to pick a safe spot where they can meet their family.
In conjunction with the 'Recruit New York' efforts, Rotterdam Emergency Medical Services first responders and Rotterdam Police will also attend the weekend event. EMTs will be holding blood pressure clinics to offer free screenings for residents who attend.
Rotterdam Police will be at available to discuss ‘Operation Safe Child,' a program that uses digital fingerprint technology and high resolution photography to produce a ‘Safe Child Card.' The identification card contains a child's name, biographical information and a fingerprint image to help in the return of a missing child. The card is made in less than two minutes, but can drastically increase the possibility of bringing a missing child home unharmed when used in conjunction with the AMBER Alert and Department of Criminal Justice Services Missing Child alert programs.