WATERFORD, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Local volunteer fire departments across the state are making a push to get more recruits through the door this weekend. Several hundred departments are rolling out their trucks and giving guests an idea of what it’s like to be a firefighter as part of RecruitNY.
“You’re pretty much just going to get to see what we do on a day-to-day basis. There’s a lot more to it than just putting an air pack on and going into a fire,” said Waterford First Assistant Fire Chief Jason Rocque.
This weekend is the 13th annual RecruitNY, as departments statewide look to bolster their number of volunteers. It comes as the number of volunteer firefighters has declined over the past several years.
“There’s a need across the state. It is a time commitment, there is a lot that goes into it, there’s a lot of training that’s involved, but more hands make less work,” said Rocque.
While RecruitNY did happen last year, many departments decided to host their open houses virtually, but this year, “We can put things in people’s hands, kinda let them get a feel for it, and maybe, no pun intended, spark an interest,” Rocque explained.
Hoping to spark an interest by offering tours, explaining operations, and even giving interested guests a chance to try out some equipment and put on the gear. All the while being reminded of the benefits of volunteering for your community.
“You’re there to try and help somebody at one of the darkest moments in their existence. Just to be able to do something to help someone out, it’s a good feeling,” the first assistant chief said.
To find out if your local department is participating, you can find out here.