Articles

Welcome to The Volunteer Firefighter™, the official magazine of FASNY.

FASNY’s publication strives to bring topical, educational and entertaining information to the volunteer emergency service decision-makers and volunteers throughout New York State. It offers feature articles and columns directly relating to the emergency services, as well as editorial content, training and education opportunities, legislation, fire prevention and life safety articles, and real-life experiences. Read the most recent news and insights below.

Bunker Program Focuses on College Students

By Captain Michael Koch, Fishers Fire Department The Fishers Fire Department has proudly finished the fourth successful year of its college bunker program and is currently accepting applications for the fall 2019 program. The department's bunker program hosts college students from New York State who are attending local Rochester area…

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Non-Wage Benefits for Motivating Volunteer Retention

By Dr. Candice McDonald, Founder of Success Up As the number of volunteer firefighters decreases, it is important for fire service leaders to take a proactive approach in developing strategies to recruit and retain members. Many people are quick to assume offering a financial stipend or moving to a combination…

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The Invisible Enemy

By Keith Tyson, Firefighter Cancer Support Network Cancer in the fire service is our current reality, but we are beginning to better understand firefighters’ increased risks and cancer’s devastating toll. Cancer can be caused by things we eat, drink, breathe and absorb, including numerous carcinogens found in our fireground and…

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A New Pyramid Scheme for Your Volunteer Department

By Tiger Schmittendorf, First Arriving One of the biggest challenges faced by today’s emergency services managers is people. Not enough people to respond, not enough people to serve on committees, not enough people to take on added responsibilities, and not enough people to do all the jobs that need to…

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What Is a 501c3?

By Connie Kent Carhart, CPA “What’s a 501c3?” “Why do we need one?” “Why, if we never needed this before?” Do these questions sound familiar? Are members who have been in your organization for some time asking these questions? They have a point. There was a time when your organization…

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Look to Local Businesses to Help Start a Smoke Detector Program

While smoke detectors are not actually fire prevention, they are a very important part of life safety. Any company, no matter how big or small, can start a smoke detector program. In 2012, our fire company reached out to local businesses and raised enough money to give a smoke detector…

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Youth Programs Grow in Recruitment Role

With the number of volunteer firefighters on the decline for decades, departments are turning to a key source for recruits. Youth programs – Juniors, Explorers and RAMs – are making a difference in both the lives of youth and department ranks across the state. “If you get one kid from…

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5 Ways to Create Positive Public Relations

By Michael Capoziello Today’s fire service, especially the volunteer fire service, is under a lot of scrutiny from the public at large. Maintaining a healthy, trusting, transparent relationship with the communities you serve should be one of the top priorities of any Chief Officer, Board of Fire Commissioners, Trustees or…

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NY’s New Sexual Harassment Law: What Volunteer Fire Departments Need to Know

By Timothy C. Hannigan, FASNY Attorney In connection with the adoption of this year’s budget in April, New York State enacted Labor Law § 201-g. This new law, which took effect on October 9, 2018, mandates: (1) the adoption of a sexual harassment policy and (2) an interactive training program…

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Surviving the Holidays: The 6 F’s

By Kelli LaPage, MS, ATC, LAH, President of WellTrail, Inc. and Vice Chair of the FASNY Health and Wellness Committee Mother taught you it is bad to use the “F word," but the holiday is full of them: Family, Finances, Fantasy and Food can all bring incredible levels of stress…

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