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10/08/13: Emergency Services Recruitment Rolls into October


Following Up on Successful Firefighter 1 Boot Camp, Recruitment Message Hits the Airwaves

ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Department of Emergency Services, fresh off a successful “Boot Camp” volunteer training exercise which graduated 20 participants from 17 different volunteer fire departments across Erie County, is continuing to spread the word about fire prevention and recruitment throughout October in a series of 10 fire prevention-themed commercials sponsored by Erie County Volunteer Firefighters and iVolunteerFIRE.org, their Recruitment HQ. The commercials, which will air on WBBZ-TV and can also be viewed on YouTube, share this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Fire is Everyone’s Fight!”

“I thank the many residents countywide who have answered their community’s call and have stepped forward to serve as volunteers, protecting our families and our neighborhoods,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Their willingness to accept this responsibility strengthens the fabric of Erie County and reaffirms that we are a region that is ready to respond to emergencies. I also thank Commissioner Neaverth, Jr. and the Emergency Services department, along with their partners, for their unswerving commitment to reinforcing the ranks of Erie County’s volunteer fire fighters.”

The “Firefighter 1 Boot Camp” was conducted during the last week of September at the Erie County Emergency Services Training & Operations Center in Cheektowaga and included teams of volunteer trainees attacking car fires as part of an extensive and intensive 90+ hour fire training program, culminating with a formal graduation ceremony on Friday, September 27. The new recruits, representing 17 different volunteer fire departments from 11 towns across Erie County, ranged in age from 18-66 years old and included two female recruits. They are part of a class of over 1,000 new volunteer firefighters that Erie County has recruited in the past 12 months, bucking the national trend of a decline in volunteerism.

Commissioner of Emergency Services Daniel Neaverth, Jr. added, “This recruitment success is the result of private, public partnerships and a tireless effort on the part of numerous volunteer fire departments, the County Chiefs Association, Emergency Services, and especially Deputy Fire Coordinator Tiger Schmittendorf. Getting recruits in the door is the first of many steps required for long term viability of the volunteer service. We must keep our foot on the accelerator and assure that training courses equal the demand of our recruitment success.”

The recruitment message is ramping up in October with fire prevention-themed commercials featuring local volunteer firefighters airing on WBBZ-TV and on YouTube, as well as featured placements in the Buffalo News. Male and female firefighters from Getzville, East Aurora, Tonawanda, and Winchester will support the message that “Fire is Everyone’s Fight!” and further promote volunteerism to potential recruits around Erie County.

WBBZ-TV Director of Production and Promotion John DiSciullo added, “WBBZ-TV is proud to partner in and support the volunteer firefighter recruitment effort in Erie County.” WBBZ-TV is seen over the air on Ch. 67.1; Time Warner Cable, FiOS, and Dish on Ch.5; and DirecTV on Channel 67.

The spots are currently airing on WBBZ-TV and will continue throughout October. The first 5 commercials in the 10-spot series are viewable immediately on YouTube, and can be viewed at:

http://youtu.be/xYRPsawct8g – Jessica & Nicole Dispenza/East Aurora

http://youtu.be/TQBT6us3MMs – Courtney Jasinski/Winchester

http://youtu.be/hcbWnQRbI8s – Bill Miles/Tonawanda

http://youtu.be/5kD6NXHMJFg – Aimee Hecht/Getzville

http://youtu.be/oFCEcaUGs0c – David Morales/Getzville