CHENANGO COUNTY – This weekend, April 26 and 27, is the sixth statewide RecruitNY. Sponsored by the Firemen's Association of the State of New York (FASNY), fire departments from all across the state and Chenango County will host open houses to bolster recruitment efforts and encourage more people to volunteer as firefighters and as EMS volunteers.
Two departments will hold pancake breakfasts and many are opening their doors to the public in order to educate and generate interest in the volunteer program.
“As you know volunteers are the life’s blood of these local agencies,” said Michael Beckwith, Deputy Fire Coordinator for the Chenango County Bureau of Fire. “Without volunteers these agencies would not exist and the communities they serve would lose the services they provide.”
He explained that with lower numbers of volunteers fire departments have had to rely on mutual aid. Lower numbers can also affect response time.
In regards to EMS, more communities may have to start paying for an ambulance service because there are not enough volunteers – a situation that Beckwith and fire chiefs across the county would like to curtail.