The Otter Lake and Old Forge Fire Departments will open their doors to area residents this weekend so they can learn about what it takes to be a volunteer firefighter in their community as part of the fourth annual Recruit NY statewide initiative.
Over the last several years, it has been tough for many fire departments throughout New York State to recruit and retain volunteers for a variety of reasons.
Like most volunteer fire departments, area fire departments need to bolster their emergency responder numbers so they can continue to provide the optimum level of protection for its residents.
As part of Recruit NY, on Saturday, April 26 between noon and 3 p.m. the Otter Lake Fire Department located at 13853 State Route 28 in Otter Lake will join volunteer fire departments all across the state at their respective firehouses for a united recruitment drive.
Not only will Recruit NY be an opportunity to highlight the duties and rewards that come with being a volunteer firefighter, it will also raise public awareness about the need for volunteers.
Throughout the day, the Otter Lake Fire Department will conduct tours of the station and firefighter apparatus, allow visitors to try on firefighter gear, and provide activities and stations throughout the firehouse for visitors.
The fire department will discuss the requirements to be a volunteer, as well as conduct demonstrations, answer questions, and let visitors know how to get involved in the fire department.
The Old Forge Fire Depart-ment will offer similar tours and demonstrations as well as provide information on what it takes to become a volunteer at an Open House on Sunday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Last year, more than 500 fire departments in 55 counties across the state held recruitment open houses.
FASNY is hoping for an even higher turnout this year.
“Come on out and join us for this unique recruitment day at our firehouse. This is a great opportunity for our neighbors to observe the exciting tasks of a firefighter. Our current members love what they do—they are everyday heroes who help neighbors in need. We hope our recruitment day will inspire other area residents to join our fire service family,” said Otter Lake Fire Chief Jeff Abrial.