Palmesano: Think About Becoming A Volunteer Firefighter
April 24, 2014
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R, Corning) is reminding area residents of a rewarding upcoming event. April 26/27 is Recruit NY weekend, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York’s (FASNY) annual recruitment and retention drive for emergency responders.
The event is being held in conjunction with National Volunteer Month. Local volunteer fire departments will provide informational materials explaining the registration process and membership benefits to prospective firefighters and EMTs.
“I have often said that our volunteer emergency responders are the backbone of our rural communities,” said Palmesano. “Not only do these brave men and women assume great risks to protect their neighbors, they also protect local property taxpayers. If the services provided by our emergency volunteers were paid services, it has been estimated they would cost taxpayers an additional $7 billion annually in property taxes.”
Palmesano says there is a pressing need for new volunteers. “Unfortunately, many of our rural communities are facing a shortage of volunteers, with the numbers continuing to decrease every year. Since 2003, the state has lost roughly 20,000 volunteer firefighters,” said Palmesano.
He also noted that emergency volunteers are eligible for state income tax credits, real property tax credits, enrollment in a length of service award program and college tuition reimbursement. Volunteer firefighters can earn up to 80 hours of college credit in exchange for maintaining defined grades and fulfilling service requirements through FASNY.
Residents who wish to attend one of the recruitment drives can call their local emergency management office or visit www.recruitny.org for more information.
Steuben County Emergency Management: (607) 664-2910