Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Marathon Fire Chief Norm Forrest, left, outfits new recuit Chris Lango, of Marathon, with new turnout gear Saturday during the volunteer firefighter open house at the Marathon Fire Department.
Firefighters promote volunteer service
Fire departments across New York held recruitment open houses Saturday as part of the statewide Recruit NY event organized by the Firemen’s Association of New York.
In Dryden, the all-volunteer Neptune Hose Co. and Dryden Ambulance crews hung a large American flag from a ladder engine outside of the station house so passers-by would take notice of their open house.
Building a large, active membership among volunteers is a challenge, fire officials said. Busy personal lives limit the training and number of calls volunteers can make, while the state continues to raise the minimum standards for activemembership.
“It all stems from years and years of line-of-duty injuries and line-of-duty deaths,” Dryden’s Deputy Chief Michael Hall said. “It grows and grows, and requirements are added on.”
These challenges make continual recruitment eventsessential to sustaining large,active memberships, particularly among volunteer departments.