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Campaign aims to boost number of volunteer firefighters


Local and state fire officials are calling on people in the community to become volunteer firefighters. The call comes as part of the fourth annual Recruit New York campaign that kicked-off Thursday.

Erie County Deputy Fire Coordinator Tiger Schmittendorf says the ‘RecruitNY’ campaign aims to interest people into becoming a volunteer firefighter.

“In many communities without volunteer firefighters they couldn’t afford fire protection or emergency services. It’s critical that these folks are stepping up and are willing to serve,” said Schmittendorf.

Thirty-four local fire departments will open their doors to the public April 26th & 27th as part of the recruitment effort. Residents will able to take a tour of the facilities, try on firefighter gear and take part in other activities.

Erie County is protected by roughly 5,000 volunteer firefighters and first responders serving in 94 fire companies in the area. Schmittendorf says training to become a volunteer firefighter is free and the reward of giving back to the community is priceless.

“Not everybody needs to be the person running into the burning building. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved either on the scene or behind the scenes in their local volunteer fire department,” said Schmittendorf.

Schmittendorf is encouraging people to reach out to their local fire department if they’re interested.

For more information visit iVolunteerFIRE.com or call (716) 601-3021.