Fire Companies Statewide Look For Volunteers
After years of declining membership, more people are signing up as volunteer firefighters.
But there is still a statewide recruiting effort underway, as fire companies across the state have to answer more calls, according to Robert McConville, president of the Fireman's Association of the State of New York.
"And the type of alarms we go to are also very diverse. Medical emergencies, floods, fires and other events that have occurred in the last couple of years have put a real burden on the fire service."
McConville stopped in Rochester as part of a a statewide tour this week, encouraging men and women to become volunteer firefighters. He said this type of volunteer service appeals to neighbors who want to help neighbors.
"There's something about being able to help somebody in their dire need; that you can help them on what could be the worst day of their life. You are there to help them to make sure that they get to the end successfully."
This weekend, local fire stations are holding open houses to educate visitors about what it takes to become a volunteer firefighter.
The latest figures available from 2012 show there are 92,655 volunteer firefighters in New York State. Their ranks had fallen to 84,000 in 2010 after they were as high as 110,000 in 1990.