Training now more accessible for volunteer firefighters

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - In an effort to recruit more volunteer firefighters, Oneida and Herkimer Counties are working together to make the training more accessible.

A training class that normally stretches over a four- to five-month period now takes 10 straight days. But, the hours are long and tough at the boot camp taking place at the Frankfort Fire Department.

The class is especially great for students who can't always make it to the traditional classes during the school year.

"Volunteers are held to the same labor law standards as career firefighters," said Chuck Conigliaro, boot camp coordinator. "Career occupation has a longer training in the beginning. On the volunteer side, it's less hours. But the courses are 130 hours to become a firefighter on the volunteer side."

As part of the boot camp, the students are housed at Herkimer College. The Offices of Emergency Management for Herkimer County and Oneida County worked together to offer this class.

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