Fire Departments plan recruitment events, open houses

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY), is holding the annual recruit New York along with your local Fire Departments April 26 and 27.

“This is a time to stop by your local fire stations and talk with your volunteers and see if there is a job for you in your local fire department,” says Yates County Emergency Management Director Brian Winslow.

Many fire departments across the country are seeing a decrease of volunteers for various reasons. Yates County is protected by all volunteer fire departments.

Several Departments in the County are planning to have open houses at their respective stations. Local open houses include:

• Branchport/Keuka Park Fire Department from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday April 26. Along with station tours and fire truck tours, there will be demonstrations of EMS equipment, auto extrication tools, and dive team equipment. Yates County Sheriff Deputies will also be at the Branchport Station for Operation Safe Child and Child Safety seat program.

• Dresden Fire Department from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday April 26 and Sunday the 27 at 89 Main St. Abtex Corporation. They will have equipment demonstrations, firefighter competitions, hands-on exercises, and games for the kids.

“The challenge of recruiting volunteer firefighters and EMTs, especially in our rural, upstate communities, deserves all of the attention it gets,” says State Sen. Tom O’Mara, adding, “Keeping our corps of emergency services volunteers strong has to be a statewide priority. Our volunteer fire departments have long been the foundation of public safety and security, and the center of community service and civic pride, and we can’t risk their decline,” said O’Mara.

Volunteers are eligible for many state - and organization-sponsored benefit programs, including income and property tax credits, length of service award programs and college tuition reimbursement, notes Assemblyman Phil Palmesano.