STRATFORD — As part of the ninth annual RecruitNY statewide initiative, the Stratford Volunteer Fire Company will open its doors to town residents so they can learn about what it takes to be a volunteer firefighter in their community.
As part of RecruitNY, on Saturday, April 27, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., the Stratford company at 119 County Highway 104 will join volunteer fire departments across the state at their respective firehouses for a unified recruitment drive. Not only will RecruitNY be an opportunity to highlight the rewards and responsibilities that come with being a volunteer firefighter, it will also raise public awareness about the need for volunteers.
Throughout the day, the company will conduct tours of the station and firefighter apparatus, allow visitors to try on firefighter gear, and provide activities and informational opportunities throughout the firehouse for visitors. The fire department 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.
Residents visiting the station during the open house will be able to register for one of several new 10-year smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors or fire extinguishers provided by Zipp Hardware in Dolgeville and Lowe’s and Walmart in Herkimer.
The past several years have been challenging for volunteer fire departments across New York State, as many are struggling with decreased membership and increased call volume. Like most volunteer fire departments, the Stratford Volunteer Fire Company needs to bolster its ranks so it can continue to provide the optimum and necessary level of protection for town residents.
Last year, more than 350 fire departments across the state held recruitment open houses. FASNY is planning for an even higher turnout this year.
“All are welcome to join us during RecruitNY,” said Stratford Fire Chief Don Vedder. “This is an excellent opportunity for people to meet their local volunteer firefighters and learn a bit more about the fire service.”
“Volunteer firefighters are everyday heroes who dedicate their spare time to helping people in their times of need. We are always looking for new members, and it is our hope that after seeing the incredible camaraderie of the firehouse up close, more people will be interested in becoming a part of our very special family.”
Over the years, FASNY has worked exceptionally hard to build and deploy a multi-tiered plan for helping New York State’s 1,700-plus volunteer fire departments recruit more than 25,000 new volunteer firefighters across the state by utilizing federal SAFER grant funds for programs including the “Fire in You” advertising campaign, FASNY HELP community college tuition reimbursement program and recruitment training classes.
For more information, or to find out if a local fire department is participating in RecruitNY, visit www.recruitny.org.