Modified: April 24, 2017 9:57am
Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by the Chief of Doyle Hose Company No. 1 Don Szumigala, representatives of the Erie County Emergency Services department, President of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (“FASNY”) Ken Pienkowski, and volunteer firefighters from local districts at Doyle Hose Company No. 1 on William Street in Cheektowaga to kick off the seventh annual “RecruitNY” campaign with a call for new volunteer firefighters to join the ranks of those already serving their communities across Erie County.
“Volunteer firefighters are on the front lines of community protection and serve the public in many ways. They may be the first on the scene when accidents happen or the first there to help when disaster strikes,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “These men and women are the backbone of effective community response, and I encourage anyone who’s thinking of joining their ranks to take some time on Open House Weekend, visit their neighborhood firehouse, and see what volunteer activities might be a good fit for them. There are many ways to serve the community and volunteers of all types and skill sets are needed.”
The RecruitNY Open House Weekend will take place on Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30 and will feature volunteer fire departments across Erie County and NYS opening their doors to residents as part of the recruitment effort. Twenty-six volunteer fire departments and one volunteer EMS unit are participating in the FASNY’s 2017 RecruitNY Statewide Volunteer Open House Program including: Akron, Big Tree, Blossom, Boston, Brighton, Chaffee-Sardinia, Cleveland-Hill, Doyle Hose Co. 1, East Aurora, Forks, Getzville, Harris Hill, Highland Hose, Lake Shore, Main-Transit, Mortons Corners, North Collins, Orchard Park, Reserve, River Road, Scranton, Springville, Twin District, U-Crest, West Falls and Winchester Volunteer Fire Companies. The Boston Emergency Squad is co-locating their open house with the Boston Volunteer Fire Company.
“Joining the volunteer fire service has been the most rewarding experience of my life, and I know I am not alone in saying that,” said FASNY President Ken Pienkowski. “Hundreds of volunteer fire departments across New York will be participating in RecruitNY, and it’s great to kick-off the campaign right here in Erie County. I urge you to take some time this weekend to stop by your local firehouse and see what being a volunteer firefighter is all about. Who knows, you just may be inspired to join them in protecting the Erie County community.”
Erie County Commissioner of Emergency Services Dan Neaverth, Jr. added, ““if you long for those high school days of being part of a team or are intrigued every time an emergency vehicle passes by, this is the time to get off your best intentions and check out your local volunteer fire department. We provide the training, equipment and camaraderie you provide the desire.”
Erie County is served by 94 volunteer fire departments and 5 emergency squads, and all communities outside the Cities of Buffalo and Lackawanna are served by volunteer firefighters and/or emergency medical services volunteers. Since FASNY’s RecruitNY Statewide Volunteer Open House Program was initiated in 2011, more than 3,370 citizens have applied to become Erie County volunteer firefighters.
As part of this annual campaign, Erie County launched a new web site at iVolunteerEMS.org last year to specifically attract potential candidates interested in joining one of the county’s five volunteer emergency squads or the many volunteer fire departments that also provide emergency medical services. That site will be featured in a new recruitment effort during National EMS Week: May 21-27, 2017.
Erie County residents interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities at their local fire departments should visit iVolunteerFIRE.org or iVolunteerEMS.org.
To find out if the firehouse in your neighborhood is participating in RecruitNY Open House Weekend activities, visit: http://www.recruitny.org/participation-area/#Erie
A sub-set of the county’s overall recruitment effort serves to connect veterans with the volunteer fire service through SoldierFirefighter.com, recognizing the common values, needs and benefits of those who have served their country in the armed forces – and those who serve their community in the volunteer fire service.
To learn more about becoming an Erie County Volunteer Firefighter visit iVolunteerFIRE.org, iVolunteerEMS.org or call the RecruitmentHQ hotline at (716) 601-3021.
For more information:
On the Erie County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, visit: http://www2.erie.gov/emergencyservices/
On SoldierFirefighter, visit http://www.SoldierFirefighter.com
On the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, visit www.fasny.com or FireInYou.org