Palmesano Announces Statewide Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment Drive

Encourages residents of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Region to consider becoming a Volunteer Firefighter

As part of a statewide program called RecruitNY, many local fire departments are opening their doors to area residents so they can learn what it takes to be a volunteer firefighter in their community. According to Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I – Corning), it is becoming increasingly more difficult for many fire departments in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Region to recruit and retain volunteers for a variety of reasons.

“Volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel are the backbone of our rural communities. In times of emergency, we can count on their protection,” said Palmesano. “There is a great need for volunteers in our communities, so I’d like to encourage my friends and neighbors across the region to contact their local fire department to learn more.”

The statewide campaign will take place the weekend of Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22. Local fire departments will discuss the requirements to be a volunteer, as well as conduct demonstrations, answer questions, and let visitors know how to get involved in the fire department. Interested individuals can contact their local fire department to determine if they are participating in the open house and, if so, when their doors will be open to the public.

Palmesano noted that volunteers provide services that are worth an estimated $7 billion, and if these services were professionalized, the increased cost to property taxpayers would be significant.

As well as highlighting the duties and rewards that come with being a volunteer firefighter, RecruitNY will help raise public awareness about the real need for more volunteers in our state. The hope is that a collaborative effort among volunteer fire departments statewide will turn the declining number of volunteer firefighters around.

For more information, contact your local fire department or visit