Pennsylvania Volunteer Departments Turn to High Schools for Recruitment

LexisNexis(R) logo

PATRICK BUCHNOWSKI
The Tribune-Democrat

DAVIDSVILLE - With declining ranks hurting volunteer fire departments nationwide, local firefighters are reaching out to high school students.

Volunteers from Conemaugh, Ideal, Hollsopple and Jerome fire departments on Thursday pitched the benefits of joining the fire service to more than 500 Conemaugh Township Area students at the high school auditorium.

They're looking to pass the torch to the next generation.

"There are guys involved in the fire department for 25-30 years and they don't have too much time left," firefighter Chad Knauer said. "I want the fire department to be here for the next 150 years."

The volunteers are recruiting junior firefighters ages 14 to 18.

From there, they can blossom into professional firefighters, EMS personnel, paramedics, nurses and water rescue members, firefighters said.

"We nurture them for the next four years through training and practicing the skills they need to become firefighters," said Robert Simonsick, chaplain for the Conemaugh company.

The 30-minute assembly included a video and display of firefighting gear.

The need for firefighters and EMS personnel is pushing recruitment to center stage, said Scott Grahn, manager of the Somerset County Swift Water Rescue Team.

"That's why we're here today," Grahn said.

Grahn helped student Shawn Dufrene slip into a life vest.

The 17-year-old said she would be interested in firefighter training.

"I think it would be useful to me," she said. "I'm more of a pacifist. I would rather help save lives."

Teenagers and adults wanting to know about the fire service can attend an open house. The doors will be open at the Conemaugh Fire Department from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Young people are being encouraged to attend.

"A lot of kids are afraid (of joining)," Simonsick said. "They just need to come in and try it out and see if it works for them. That's the big thing."

Copyright 2009 The Tribune-Democrat
December 4, 2009

Views: 347

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Maybe the fire department can set up a table at the high school prom.
Put a float in the homecoming parade.
Work the sidelines at a football game in full PPE.
Play in the band at the halftime of a basketball game.
Become hall monitors.
That ought to do it.
What is wrong with this?

Everything

I've said this many times...

Any FD that has to rely on children isn't an FD... it a lawsuit waiting to happen.
Hi Ron'

I agree with you on that .. but i think here is just to get them ready to take over the next generation
of firefighter with the next few years in training ...
anyway it look to me that what they want

but your right if they depend on them right away it's lawsuit big time..
take care brother!!

J.C.
What does it say about our society when children are at least willing to step up and consider helping out, when the adults won't.

I also didn't see anything about putting the teens on the front line. In fact, I believe the article said; "We nurture them for the next four years through training and practicing the skills they need to become firefighters," I see nothing wrong with training the next generation.

I know in my area, the only "adults" that apply, can't pass the background check.
I know what you mean it's like that in the U.S. but also in Canada...
Hey Ron, You wouldn't happen to be a IAFF Local 1714 member would you?
You know what's amazing?
Today, they took down the "juniors going out on the first due rig" and they put up this news article about recruiting.
Unfrigginbelievable.
I hope that the message about adding rank to your profiles means a better attempt to keep juniors in THEIR forum discussions and let the adults discuss or better yet, determine what their future will hold.
Sheesh.
Oh and for those of you who are on Ron; check out the laundry list that these "recruits" are going to be exposed to. Nowhere does it mention that they have a chartered explorer's program. It sounds just like it sounds: that they are recruiting KIDS.
It may not say that they are going to be on the "front lines", but it doesn't say that they aren't either.
So, cut him some slack. The article is somewhat vague, which is why I kept my original post "pithy".
Why would you want to turn a discussion about 'children in the fire dept.' into one about paid vs. vol.?
The military recruits at high schools. Career fire departments recruit at high schools. Why wouldn't volunteer fire departments recruit at high schools?
Today, they took down the "juniors going out on the first due rig" and they put up this news article about recruiting.
I think someone is sending us a subtle message. wascally wabbit
the discussion about breaking windows for venting is gone too...coincidence? or conspiracy? (please excuse me, my sarcasm font won't load)
We nurture them for the next four years through training and practicing the skills they need to become firefighters," said Robert Simonsick, chaplain for the Conemaugh company.

I know they never said anything about not been in front line, but sound to me like training them will become first.
(sniff sniff) I think I smell fish. We had sloppy joes for supper so it's not in my house
;-}

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Find Members Fast


Or Name, Dept, Keyword
Invite Your Friends
Not a Member? Join Now

© 2021   Created by Firefighter Nation WebChief.   Powered by

Badges  |  Contact Firefighter Nation  |  Terms of Service