The Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company will open its doors to area residents Sunday, so they can learn about what it takes to be a volunteer firefighter in their community, as part of the third annual RecruitNY statewide initiative.
WVFC will join its counterparts across the state from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 28 for a unified recruitment drive, as part of National Volunteer Week 2013. RecruitNY is an opportunity to highlight the duties and rewards that come with being a volunteer firefighter and will also raise public awareness about the need for volunteers.
Over the last several years, it has been very tough for many fire departments throughout New York State to recruit and retain volunteers for a variety of reasons. But, Whitehall Fire has seen an upturn in new members. At present the roster contains 76 members with 55 active firefighters. During the same time, Whitehall has also experienced an increase in alarms. Last year Whitehall Fire responded to over 500 alarms making it the busiest fire company in Washington County.
“We have had more structure fires this year than any other fire department in the county,” according to Fire Chief Bryan Brooks. “There is a need for more trained interior firefighters.”
Throughout the day, firefighters will conduct tours of the renovated fire station and new apparatus, allow visitors to try on firefighter gear, and provide activities and stations throughout the firehouse for visitors. The open house provides the public an opportunity to view the fire company’s new apparatus such as the 2012 Peterbilt Engine-Tanker and 2012 Polaris Ranger 6×6 Brush Truck. 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 company. Whitehall Fire maintains a Junior Firefighter program for students ages 16-17.
“Come on out and join us for this unique recruitment day at our firehouse,” said Bruce Wescott, Board of Directors Chairman. “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.”
For area residents looking for more information, visit www.recruitny.org or contact Whitehall Fire by stopping in any Tuesday night or visit its website at www.whitehallfire.org.