Fire departments across New York State looking to recruit volunteers

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - This weekend, firehouses all over Onondaga County are holding open houses part of the annual Recruit New York campaign. The statewide initiative aims to increase the number of volunteer firefighters.

The Firemen’s Association of New York held a news conference on Wednesday ahead of this weekends events, where they extricated a car as a part of a demonstration to show the community a glimpse of the demands of the job.

Right now, there are 2,500 volunteers in Onondaga County and rescuers say roughly 4,000 is what’s needed.

Numbers all down across the state for volunteer firefighters, but this initiative has been working to regenerate recruits. From 2011-2014 this initiative helped retain 20,000 more volunteer firefighters.

Departments remind anyone interested they're willing to work around busy schedules.

“We provide the training we provide the gear and we'll work around your schedule. It’s not like it was 20 years ago where you had just one person working, now you have both family members working, mom and dad, you got several kids. So we work around that and we want you to come in and help us,” said Cicero Fire Chief Jon Barrett.

If you're interested, you're encouraged to visit your local fire department this weekend to find out more.

Volunteer firefighters don't just save lives; they also save money for their communities— roughly $3 billion a year across the state, according to the Fire Association.

Click here to see a complete list of department recruiting efforts across New York State.

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