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FASNY looking to increase membership

Apr 26, 2021 5:45 am

Natasha Vaughn is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media fire departments throughout Columbia County are looking for new volunteers. The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York declared April 24 and 25 as the 11th annual RecruitNY Weekend. FASNY [FAZZ-knee] President John Farrell said, “After the year we have been through, RecruitNY weekend can provide people with the opportunity to interact with the responders who are dedicated to protecting them.” Fire departments in Columbia and Greene counties that hosted open house events included Churchtown Fire Company, the Valatie Fire Department, the Oak Hill-Durham Volunteer Fire Company and the Copake Fire Company. Last year RecruitNY was canceled because of COVID-19. In 2019 more than 600 fire departments statewide held recruitment open houses. “Give back and volunteer. It’s a great way to support your communities and become part of organizations that are very community-centered. We’re neighbors helping neighbors, as the quote goes,” Columbia County Fire Coordinator George Keeler said. Keeler said recruitment activities are ongoing because departments in the county and statewide can always use more volunteers. Columbia County currently has somewhere between 700 and 800 firefighters. Keeler noted that for a county with a population of approximately 60,000 this is not a large number. Keeler said he remembers when the county had more than 1,000 volunteers, but the number has been on the decline in recent years. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.