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Albany creating a state Recruitment and Retention Task Force for firefighters

Nov 16, 2020 6:00 am
Morgan McKay is reporting for State of Politics there are roughly 1,800 volunteer fire departments in New York, but during the past few decades, there has been a steady decline in the number of people willing to volunteer, as well as the number of volunteers the departments can retain. To help with this problem, this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to create a state Recruitment and Retention Task Force. John D’Alessandro, a public affairs specialist at the Fireman’s Association of the State of New York, said the task force will first identify why so many volunteer firefighters are leaving their departments. "It’s a complex problem, because some of it is training and how training is delivered,” D’Alessandro said. He said departments will have to find ways to make training more accessible for the average person looking to join up, but at the same time they cannot compromise on quality given the physical requirements of the job. The task force will include representatives of the fire service, the executive branch, the legislature, and state agencies. Once the task force meets, it will have 120 days to issue a report. Volunteer fire departments save taxpayers more than $5 billion annually, according to the Fireman's Association. Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.