This year, RecruitNY Weekend (April 24-25) will be unlike any before. In response to COVID-19, many firehouses across New York state are choosing to organize a virtual open house 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. Unfortunately, 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,” said FASNY President John Farrell. “After the year we have been through, 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 allow visitors to try on turnout gear. These type of activities give visitors a taste of what it means to be in the fire service. 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 following departments in Oswego County will be holding recruiting events on April 24:
West Monroe Volunteer Fire Department, 54 County Route 11, 315-676-4600.
Altmar Volunteer Fire Department, 15 Bridge St., 315-298-5555.
Caughdenoy Volunteer Fire Department, 48 Prosect St., 315-668-3551.
Redfield Volunteer Fire Company, 4879 County Route 27, 315-599-7750.
The past several years have been challenging for volunteer fire departments throughout New York. Many are faced with decreased membership and increased call volume. The need to bolster their ranks is critical to providing optimum and necessary levels of protection for their residents.
The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) has worked hard to develop and implement events to assist New York’s 1,700-plus volunteer fire departments recruit new volunteers. This includes utilizing federal SAFER grant funds for programs such as the “Fire in You” outreach campaign, the FASNY HELP college tuition reimbursement program and recruitment training classes.