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Volunteer Fire Departments Host Open Houses For RecruitNY

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Fire stations across New York open their doors to the public this weekend, as part of a statewide effort to recruit more volunteer firefighters. 

This weekend kicked off the RecruitNY recruitment event. In Broome County, 29 volunteer fire departments hosted open houses Saturday, giving potential recruits a look at what it's like to be a volunteer firefighter. 

According to the National Volunteer Fire Council, there's been a 12-percent decline in volunteer firefighters since 1984. Meanwhile, call volume has tripled. 

"This station, station 4, has 27 active members. I could remember when I was chief in 1989. We had 54, so you’ve seen a large reduction and that’s statewide." 
— Chuck Paffie, Vestal Fire Captain

Captain Paffie wants to remind people that you don't have to wait for another RecruitNY event to learn more about volunteering at your local fire station. 

"Just come on down to your local fire station, knock on the door and tell them you want to inquire about becoming a member," said Paffie. "We have a wide variety of jobs anybody can do." 

Established in 2011, RecruitNY is a joint undertaking by the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY), the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs (NYSAFC), Association of Fire Districts of New York State, Volunteer Fire Police Association of the State of New York, and County Fire Coordinators Association of the State of New York.