WARRENSBURG - Fire departments around New York state will be holding open houses this weekend as part of the Recruit NY program, organized by the Firemen's Association of the State of New York (FASNY). State officials aim to recruit more volunteers and retain them longer.
Several local fire departments will be opening their doors to the public on Saturday, April 9, including the Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Company, the Lake George Volunteer Fire Department and the Pottersville Volunteer Fire Department.
The volunteer pool of firefighters is shrinking statewide, and this new recruitment push has galvanized the firefighting community to get out a unified message.
In Warrensburg, the fire department's volunteer corps is down to 28 members, and the average age is about 50, according to fire department President Kevin Geraghty, the town of Warrensburg's supervisor and longtime firefighter.
"We need more young members," Geraghty said.
The Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Department, located at 18 Elm St., will be hosting its open house - with tours of the firehouse and refreshments - from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 9.
The Lake George Volunteer Fire Department, located at 179 Ottawa St., will also host an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 9, according to fire department Secretary Barb McGuirk, who serves as a liaison with the FASNY Recruitment and Retention Committee.
"We're trying to get all the fire departments to hold open houses," McGuirk said. "We need volunteers because volunteering is down."
Visitors to the Lake George firehouse will be able to take part in a number of hands-on activities for the whole family, from trying on gear to posing in a fire truck. A barbecue lunch will be served, with desserts donated by the Lake George Baking Company, and information will be available for anyone interested in joining the local company or auxiliary.