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Local volunteer fire departments hold Open Houses this weekend

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Genesee County volunteer fire departments will open their doors to residents this weekend so they can learn about what it takes to be a volunteer firefighter. This is part of the fourth annual RecruitNY statewide initiative of the Firemen's Association of the State of New York (FASNY).

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. Like most volunteer fire departments, those in Genesee County need to bolster their emergency response numbers so they can continue to provide the optimal level of protection for residents.

As part of RecruitNY, this Saturday and Sunday, April 26 and 27, the volunteer fire departments listed below will be open along with others throughout the state for a unified recruitment drive. This will be an opportunity to highlight the duties and rewards that come with being a volunteer firefighter; it's also a chance to check out the equipment, try on the gear, and tour the station.

Volunteer firefighters will be on hand to discuss the requirements to be a volunteer, and they will also conduct demonstrations, answer questions and let visitors know how to get involved in their fire department.

Last year, more than 500 fire departments in 55 counties statewide held recruitment Open Houses. FASNY is hoping for an even higher turnout this year.

Over the last year and a half, FASNY has worked exceptionally hard to build and deploy a multi-tiered plan for helping the state's 1,700 volunteer fire departments recruit more than 15,000 new volunteers by using federal SAFER grants for programs, including the "Fire in You" ad campaign, and the FASNY HELP community college reimbursement program, plus recruitment training programs.

Here is the line-up of Open Houses and activities at fire departments in Genesee County: (Information as provided by the individual departments and may not include everything offered; for more information contact the local department.)

Saturday, April 26:

Bethany -- 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- Coffee & Donuts, Open House, and Demonstrations

Byron -- Burn Car & Open House

Elba -- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- Open House & Soft-serve Ice Cream

Indian Falls -- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- Open House

Pembroke -- Open House, Auto Extrication & Other Demonstrations

Stafford, Pavilion, Le Roy -- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- All three departments will converge at the Stafford Fire Station and will offer many demonstrations, an Open House, and a light lunch.

Sunday, April 27:

Alabama -- 12 to 3 p.m. -- Open House & Ice Water Suit Demonstration

Bethany -- 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- Coffee & Donuts, Open House, Demonstrations

Byron -- Auto Extrication & Free Spaghetti Dinner

Elba -- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- Open House & Soft-serve Ice Cream

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