New York task force targets volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention

Published: Aug. 7, 2022 at 9:42 AM EDT
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NEW YORK (WCAX) - New York state is looking at new ways to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters.

The volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention task force meets virtually to address challenges and offer up new concepts.

They looked at volunteer departments across the country for ideas.

The task force says some of the biggest barriers are a lack of job opportunities in the community and the cost of living.

Some of the ideas to offer a fix were tax incentives, offering child care at departments and getting programs into technical high schools to help get the needed requirements for the job at a younger age.

“We are looking at how are the other states using those opportunities and how did they break that stigma with education and get themselves into the schools,” said Art Bill Streicher, a volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention task force member.

They also want to diversify and look at underrepresented groups of people and offer mentorship programs.

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