Hilltown Fire Department grant
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WESTERLO, N.Y. -- Twelve Hilltown fire departments will reap the benefits of a $429,000 grant from FEMA. Approximately half of the grant will be used to hire two part-time retention and recruitment coordinators to market and recruit new volunteer firefighters. The goal is to recruit at least four new members for each department.
Fire officials say times are changing and they need to try new methods to recruit more members.
"The same strategy of sit back and wait for people to join us has to shift to actively recruiting and retaining new members. Family obligations, longer work hours, stressful jobs, higher training requirements all compete against our membership," said Kevin Flensted, Westerlo Deputy Fire Chief.
The remaining funds will be used to purchase items like personal protective fire gear and pagers for new recruits.