Deerfield, N.Y. - The Deerfield Volunteer Fire Department is 1 of 21 volunteer fire departments in Oneida County to take part in this year's annual RecruitNY Weekend designed to recruit new volunteers into the volunteer fire service.
The 21 firehouses in Oneida County that are taking part this year are among a record 609 departments statewide that are opening their doors to the public on this last weekend in April.
The statewide event is put on by the Fireman's Association of the State of New York, or FASNY.
Deerfield Fire Chief Kevin Powers says this can be the most important weekend of the year statewide, "We open up our doors on a day like today and we try to welcome people in and let them see our equipment and let them learn more about the fire service and what we do."
Powers says recruitment is much more than just a one weekend a year job, "Each department may pick up one or two members. Recruitment and retention isn't just about this one day, this one weekend, it's a constant continual process. I think that all of the departments in our area do a very good job of going out and talking to people in their communities and inviting them to become a member. They say you have to take in five or six new members a year to get one or two that will stay for a long period of time, and you can't do all that in one weekend."
For a list of which fire departments in each county across New York State are taking part this weekend, and for their open house schedule, head to : http://www.recruitny.org/participation-area/