Crouch Reminds Residents about Volunteer Firefighter Push

A legislative column from Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch (R-Bainbridge)
April 4, 2018

The volunteer firefighter is crucial to our local rural communities. Their sacrifice, dedication and sense of community keep us safe every day. According to the Firemenís Association of the State of New York (FASNY), volunteer firefighters save New Yorkers roughly $3 billion in taxes each year.

Unfortunately, in recent years volunteer firefighter numbers have been dwindling. Many departments are struggling and are in desperate need of volunteers. Some departments have hired full-time firefighters, which places a burden on struggling departments. With some departments short staffed, the workload has become very taxing on volunteers. The more help these departments can get the better.

This month on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29, fire departments across the state will be participating in FASNYís annual Recruit NY initiative. During this initiative, volunteer fire departments around the state will be hosting open houses for anyone interested in joining their department. I strongly encourage anyone interested to contact your local department and see if it is participating in the event.

Being a volunteer firefighter gives you the opportunity to serve your community, while giving you an opportunity to experience comradery, duty and a feeling of purpose that not many people get to experience day to day. Our communities need all the strong and capable individuals they can get.

I have always stood with our firefighters and have done all I can in Albany to ensure they are properly cared for and compensated for their hard work and dedication. Last year we passed legislation that will provide service-related cancer disability and health benefits to our volunteer firefighters.

I stand with them again, and fully support and encourage all capable individuals who are interested to attend any participating departmentís open house on April 28 or 29.