Open-house event seeks new volunteer firefighters

Posted: Updated:
SYOSSET -

Calling all heroes: fire departments on Long Island and across New York state are looking for new volunteers.

An open-house recruitment event this weekend aimed to increase the number of volunteer firefighters serving in local communities. At Syosset's three fire stations, some 30 people turned out to express interest in joining.

First Assistant Chief David Hegarty, of the Amityville Fire Department, says that like many stations on Long Island, they're facing a challenge recruiting new firefighters.

"This is our chance to have folks come in, see what we do, meet some members and hopefully make the decision that they want to join the organization," Hegarty says.

As part of the recruitment day, firefighters were showing potential volunteers some of the things they'd be doing on a daily basis, like forcing open a door to get inside a burning building. Amityville firefighters also demonstrated how they use the Jaws of Life to rescue someone from a crashed car.

According to Recruit NY, New York state has added more than 20,000 volunteer firefighters since the recruitment event started in 2011.

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