Niagara Gazette — Area volunteer fire companies will be looking for a few good volunteers during a statewide recruitment drive this weekend.
Various local fire companies, including Bergholz Fire Co., Adams Fire Co., Frontier Fire Co., Lewiston No. 2, Shawnee Volunteer Fire Co., St. Johnsburg Fire Co., Town of Niagara Active Hose, Tri-Community Ambulance Service and Upper Mountain Fire Co., will be participating in this year's event.
The Bergholz Volunteer Fire Co. will be hosting an open house from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the fire hall, 2470 Niagara Road.
Last year, the company responded to 869 fire and emergency service calls.
The Bergholz RecruitNY event will feature free refreshments, door prizes, hands-on demonstrations, including auto extrication and the Jaws of Life. The Niagara County Sheriff's Department will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. conducting child safety seat checks. The public will also be invited to try out firefighter gear and go on a free fire truck ride. The Bergholz German band will also play from 2 to 3 p.m. For additional information, call Mark Stevens at 716-731-4848.
Lewiston No. Fire Co. will hold its own recruitment event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Refreshments will be served during the event which will also include several emergency skills demonstrations, prize giveaways and more.
Officials from local fire companies say they have had a difficult time in recent years attracting new recruits and retaining volunteers. They say RecruitNY gives them an opportunity to highlight the duties and rewards that come with being a volunteer firefighter and to raise public awareness about the need for volunteers. The event is designed, in part, to inform the public about incentives available to volunteers, including the town-sponsored service awards program, tax credits from New York state and college tuition reimbursement.