New York Passes Bill to Help Volunteer Firefighters New York Passes Bill to Help Keep Volunteer Firefighters.

In New York, there are 100,000 volunteer firefighters.

CICERO, N.Y (NCC NEWS)- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill, creating a New York State retention task force for volunteer firefighters. In New York, there are more than 100,000 volunteer firefighters and 17,771 fire departments. According to the national fire protection associations, 69% of firefighters in the United States are volunteers.

The Firemen’s Association studied and identified three primary reasons people are not becoming volunteer firefighters. The three reasons are

  • I have a busy life
  • it’s not in me, and I am not that person,
  • I don’t know-how.

The Firemen’s Association has been trying to address those three issues for a couple of years. The task force will create a report within the first 120 days after its first meeting the association secretary of FASNY, John D’Alessandro stated.

“Most people that watch Backdraft or Chicago Fire think that you know, fire emergency response is done by career firefighters,” D’Alessandro said . “But the reality of it is in New York State, and frankly in the nation. 80 to 85% of all fire and emergency response was done by volunteers.”

Firefighters in Cicero said that they do it to help the community that they live in.

Lieutenant Benjamin Kittle has been a volunteer Firefighter since 2003. He works as a web developer during the day and helps respond to fire emergencies at night. The Cicero fire department gets between 800 and 1000 calls a year.

Fire extinguisher on Fire Truck
There are four different types of fire extinguishers and each can be used for different types of fire.
© 2020 Kittle

“I’m constantly thinking about my family when we’re when we’re, you know, both responding to emergencies or preparing for emergencies,”Kittle said . “How would I want my family, taking care of.”

Lieutenant Jeremy Hemmingway of the Cicero Fire Department has volunteered at two different stations for ten years because he likes helping his community.

“I wanted to help my community and, you know, show other people that Hey, there are still some good people out there that still want to help,” Hemmingway said.

Kittle said that he believes that this will be a well-coordinated effort to help the recruitment of Volunteer firefighting.

JOHN D’ALESSANDRO: So the what the popular media portrays as, you know, a cultural given is, is the exact opposite of the reality. In most communities. Outside the main outside a sort of urban environment a city environment.

D’ALESSANDRO:The Fire and Emergency Response falls upon volunteers, your friends, your family members, your neighbors to be there when you need them. So, you know that that’s the first thing that you know communities, not only in New York but across the country have to understand the Volunteer Fire Service is the backbone of the emergency response system in the United States.

D’ALESSANDRO: What do we provide. You know, we provide every kind of emergency response from fire suppression to fire safety education, to motor vehicle accident response, hazmats things as simple as pumping out somebody’s basement, after a storm, to downed power lines.

D’ALESSANDRO:You know when you look at the economic impact of that, again, the Firemen’s Association did a study a few years back, and found that the economic impact of the Volunteer Fire Service, just in the state of New York, is that it saves over $5 billion. That’s b, billion dollars a year for the taxpayers.

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