Long Island Fire Departments Recruiting Volunteer Firefighters

Long Island volunteer firefighters, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY), fire officers, public safety officials, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, and other elected officials will clang the bell for new recruits Friday, April 28, at 11 a.m., at the Nassau County Firefighters Museum & Education Center, on Museum Row in Garden City.

FASNY 1st Vice-President Steven Klein and FASNY Immediate Past-President Robert McConville will kick off Nassau and Suffolk Counties’ seventh annual RecruitNY campaign, designed to help increase volunteer membership. The event, to which area firefighters have been invited to attend in dress uniform, as well as fire trucks and apparatus from area departments, is a public service outreach to highlight the need for more volunteer firefighters.

Over the last few years, due to various factors including family and financial responsibilities, the economy, and current volunteers aging, retiring, or moving out of state, there has been a reduction in volunteer first-responder numbers.

During the RecruitNY 2017 Open Houses Weekend, Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30, more than 450 volunteer fire companies across New York State will open their doors and fire truck bays to local residents as part of the statewide volunteer firefighter recruitment effort. Fire departments will conduct tours of their firehouses and fire apparatus, allow visitors to try on turnout gear, and provide visitor activities throughout the firehouse. Members will discuss the rewards and responsibilities that come with being a volunteer firefighter, as well as conduct demonstrations, answer questions, and let visitors know how to go about joining their fire department.

Nassau County participants as of April 27 include:

East Rockaway, Freeport, Garden City Park, Long Beach, North Bellmore, North Merrick, Oceanside, South Farmingdale, Syosset, Woodmere.

Suffolk County participants as of April 27 include:

Bay Shore, Center Moriches, Central Islip, Coram, Dix Hills, Great River, Halesite, Huntington, Lindenhurst, Mount Sinai, Quogue, Sound Beach, Southampton, Wading River, Westhampton Beach.

“This year, hundreds of departments in dozens of counties across the state are participating in RecruitNY and we look forward to welcoming New Yorkers to all our fire department Open Houses,” said Steven Klein, 1st vice president of the FASNY and 50-plus year Oceanside Fire Department member and an ex-chief of department. “RecruitNY has proven a success in past years and is a key initiative to bolster membership numbers so fire departments can continue to provide the optimum level of protection to our local residents.”

The volunteer fire service is an integral part of both life and the economy in New York State. In 2016, FASNY released an economic impact report, which quantifies the value of the volunteer fire service and its associated tax savings throughout the state. The report concluded that the annual cost of a replacement, all-paid fire service would be $3.87 billion. Furthermore, property taxes in New York State would rise by an estimated average of 26.5 percent. These figures do not factor in the costs of acquiring the necessary facilities and equipment needed to accommodate a paid fire service. The volunteer fire service, and efforts like RecruitNY, make the State not only safer, but also more affordable.

This weekend, April 29 and 30, is officially “RecruitNY Weekend” as designated by the county executives of Nassau and Suffolk Counties: official proclamations will be presented on Friday at this event.

For area residents looking to find if your fire department is participating in RecruitNY, visit www.recruitny.org/participation-area. For more information, contact your local fire department via their non-emergency phone number or website or visit www.recruitny.org/community.