As part of a statewide effort to increase volunteer firefighter numbers across New York State, County Executive Ed Mangano is encouraging all Nassau residents to check with their local fire departments to see if they are hosting open houses during RecruitNY weekend: Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27.
During RecruitNY weekend, participating fire departments will conduct tours of their firehouse and fire apparatus, allow visitors to try on turnout gear, and provide visitor activities and stations throughout the firehouse. Members will discuss the requirements to be a volunteer, as well as conduct demonstrations, answer questions, and let visitors know how to join their fire department.
For more information, or to find out if your fire department is participating in RecruitNY, visit http://www.recruitny.org or contact your local fire department via a non-emergency phone number or its website.
“Volunteer firefighters protect our homes and communities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” Mangano told those gathered at the Nassau County Fiefighters Museum. “They are our friends and neighbors, and they take pride in helping our communities whenever and wherever support is needed. Now more than ever, they need our help so they can continue to protect the residents of Nassau County.”
Mangano said that most recently, Hurricane Sandy demonstrated the very best in people.
Long Island’s Bravest need new recruits, and we’re calling on those neighbors who stepped up during Hurricane Sandy to join our efforts,” he said. “I encourage anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter to visit their local firehouse during the Recruit NY weekend, April 26th and 27th.
The number of volunteer firefighters in New York State has declined in the past 15 years or so, due to a host of factors.
As an incentive to join, Nassau County will offer a property tax exemption and free community college tuition.
“Today’s firefighters are responding to more emergencies than ever before, and are responding to more complex emergency situations,” Mangano said. “As residents witnessed during 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy, our communities rely on the heroic men and women of our fire departments more than ever before. Our fire departments need to bolster their emergency responder numbers, so they can continue to provide the best level of protection for their residents.”