TOWN OF LYSANDER, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Plainville Fire District is in desperate need of volunteers. The district held its first public workshop Tuesday night, with hopes of recruiting men and women to join the team.
The lack of volunteers and the future of the Plainville Fire District are two big concerns that were discussed during Tuesday’s workshop.
It’s a major crisis that’s not only affecting Plainville Fire District but multiple fire departments across the nation.
Currently, there are just 17 active members in the district. The fire commissioner says they’re getting by, but still need more people to step up.
The district is not only looking for volunteer firefighters but EMTS, Fire Police, administration and other positions. Not having enough volunteers can lead to delays in response times during emergencies and could result in higher home insurance rates.
Another option for the Plainville Fire District would be merging with other local departments, however, that could lead to a big increase in the annual fire tax.
“Everything that you see here, as far as equipment is concerned, is tax money that we raise and we are proud of the fact that we are able to do that with a very reasonable tax rate for our residents. We want to try and be able to do that and if we can’t get volunteers then we have to think of other ways of continuing. One of the things that’s going to happen is our tax rates are going to go up,” said Ken Landon, Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners.
The district has held other community events in the past, with hopes of recruiting new members. But the outcome wasn’t successful. The district is hoping Tuesday’s workshop gets the ball rolling.
“I have an opening statement to read explaining why basically were having this meeting tonight and any ideas what can we do about this, who can we get to help us, how can we arouse the people’s interest in joining the fire department. The whole idea is it’s not just about fighting fires. There are so many other things that can happen for people to do in the department,” said Landon.
Tom Perkins has been a volunteer firefighter for 60 years and says it’s not easy, but it’s so worth it.
“There’s no greater benefit to the community or satisfaction for being a member then joining your volunteer fire department. Its very fulfilling and rewarding. You have your ups and downs, you have your bad calls that stay with you,” said Perkins. “The amount of time people spend texting, you know if you took a portion of that and said ok, I am going to get on my volunteer fire department and take those ten hours a month that I am on my phone and give it to the community, we all would be better off.”
The Plainville Fire District is looking for men and women, 18 years or older to join the district.
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer at the Plainville Fire District, call 315-299-5746.