BUFFALO, N.Y. — Hundreds of volunteer fire departments across the state will be taking part in RecruitNY this weekend.
The president of the Firemen's Association of the State of New York, John Farrell, says the purpose of it is to let the public experience what it means to be in the fire service, and to talk about the requirements and rewards of joining.
“Hundreds of volunteer fire departments across New York will be participating in RecruitNY," Farrell said in a statement. "We invite all New Yorkers to attend an open house and safely experience what it means to be a volunteer firefighter.
"After the year we have been through, RecruitNY weekend can provide people with the opportunity to interact with the responders who are dedicated to protecting them."
This is the 11th year for the RecruitNY campaign.
This year many companies are holding virtual open houses after the pandemic canceled last year's event, and it's a crucial effort with the number of volunteers across the state dropping during the pandemic.
"It has affected the recruitment level. Our retention levels have dropped off also because of this," according to Edward Tase Jr., the first vice president of the Firemen's Association of the State of New York.
"And a lot of the families have said, 'OK, well, I've got two small children at home, or a baby, or elderly parents.' They say, 'I can't get up and go to these calls because I have a fear of contracting the virus.' It's tough. It's really tough these days."