CORTLAND, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A group of junior firefighters was put to the test Saturday as part of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York’s (FASNY) Youth in the Fire Service Day. They spent the day going through drills involving forced entries, searches, and hose relays.
Many of the teens grew up around people in fire departments, and are hoping to follow in their footsteps.
“Help other people and go to their place on their worst day, and that’s why they call you and that’s what you’re here for,” Henry said.
“I want to help people. And like, I want to be able to save people and like have that power and role,” said Catherine Northup, a junior firefighter.
Problem is, there are not enough people like Henry and Catherine.
That’s why the FASNY is traveling the state for the first time, training teens and networking with different cities.
“The average age of police, fire, or EMS and emergency management is getting older and we need to bring younger people in,” said Richard Silvaroli, a coach for the FASNY Youth Program.
If they don’t, not only will fire stations be even shorter staffed but when the public needs their help, they may not be there.
“When you dial 911 for a house fire or an emergency medical, it’s either they have enough staff to come out or not, so yeah it’s, you’re helping your own town,” Silvaroli said.
The Youth in Fire Service Program is moving throughout the state. Before heading to Cortland, FASNY stopped in the Niagara area. Next year, the group plans to head to Long Island and Albany.
For more information on FASNY’s youth programs, click here.
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