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‘We need young firefighters:’ $10m training stipend program for volunteer firefighters hopes to strengthen New York fire service

todayMarch 10, 2024 3

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As the need for volunteer firefighters continues to grow across New York State, a new $10 million initiative from Governor Kathy Hochul is hoping to help.

That announced $10 million is set to go towards the first training stipend program for volunteer firefighters. The volunteer firefighters News 8 spoke with said they make up most of the same staff that are responding to these calls.

$10 million granted towards training stipends for NYS volunteer firefighters

They’re hoping this will be an incentive for more people will join the team.

Alannah Scardino is a Volunteer Firefighter with the Brighton Fire Department.

“For me, I honestly don’t know why I joined the fire department. Because I was afraid of fire, heights, and confined spaces. But I saw the opportunity right in front of me,” Scardino said.

She’s now been a part of the crew for over two years.

“It just is an opportunity that a lot of people didn’t get to do. It looked super interesting. Things that I would get to learn every single day doing,” Scardino said.

The Firefighters Association of the State of New York says over the years, they’ve started to see a decrease in the number of people volunteering.

“The Firefighters Association did a number of focus groups to get some data as to why people weren’t volunteering what they had in the past. And the number one reason was, I don’t have the time,” Association Secretary for FASNY John D’Alessandro told News 8. “The stipend enables people who might be working, you know, two jobs, sometimes three jobs, to get some monetary compensation for taking the training classes to become an interior structural firefighter.”

Here at home, the Brighton Fire Department says most of their crew now is volunteer and the need for more is constant.

“Firefighters are aging out,” Brighton Fire Department Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator David Metzger said. “So, we have people who have been in for a long, long time.  And they no longer can handle the firefighter or the interior fire operations responsibilities, so they become apparatus responders or drivers or pump operators. The fire service across the state needs young firefighters.”

Brighton Fire says the easiest way to get involved is by stopping at your local fire station.

For more information, click here.

​ ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As the need for volunteer firefighters continues to grow across New York State, a new $10 million initiative from Governor Kathy Hochul is hoping to help.

That announced $10 million is set to go towards the first training stipend program for volunteer firefighters. The volunteer firefighters News 8 spoke with said they make up most of the same staff that are responding to these calls.
$10 million granted towards training stipends for NYS volunteer firefighters
They’re hoping this will be an incentive for more people will join the team.

Alannah Scardino is a Volunteer Firefighter with the Brighton Fire Department.

“For me, I honestly don’t know why I joined the fire department. Because I was afraid of fire, heights, and confined spaces. But I saw the opportunity right in front of me,” Scardino said.

She’s now been a part of the crew for over two years.

“It just is an opportunity that a lot of people didn’t get to do. It looked super interesting. Things that I would get to learn every single day doing,” Scardino said.

The Firefighters Association of the State of New York says over the years, they’ve started to see a decrease in the number of people volunteering.

“The Firefighters Association did a number of focus groups to get some data as to why people weren’t volunteering what they had in the past. And the number one reason was, I don’t have the time,” Association Secretary for FASNY John D’Alessandro told News 8. “The stipend enables people who might be working, you know, two jobs, sometimes three jobs, to get some monetary compensation for taking the training classes to become an interior structural firefighter.”

Here at home, the Brighton Fire Department says most of their crew now is volunteer and the need for more is constant.

“Firefighters are aging out,” Brighton Fire Department Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator David Metzger said. “So, we have people who have been in for a long, long time.  And they no longer can handle the firefighter or the interior fire operations responsibilities, so they become apparatus responders or drivers or pump operators. The fire service across the state needs young firefighters.”

Brighton Fire says the easiest way to get involved is by stopping at your local fire station.

For more information, click here. Read More NewsRochesterFirst  

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