Volunteer Firefighter International

Retirees Complete FF1 Training to Keep Volunteer Department Open

By Don Lehman, Post Star:

Like many volunteer fire departments in small communities, the Huletts Landing Fire Department has struggled to attract manpower. But as a hamlet of mainly seasonal homes, recruiting new members proves even more difficult when the community’s population dwindles from 2,000 during the summer to 40 or so come winter.

That annual exodus led to the roster of the fire department that covers the hamlet on the east shore of Lake George having just a handful of members who had any formal training about how to fight a fire.

“We have four year-round members,” Huletts Landing Fire Chief Jay Vander Plaat said.

That changed last month, when 20 men, most of them newly joined members of the department and all in their 60s, 70s and 80s, completed an intensive state course to give Huletts Landing a trained fire department.

With fire and training courses becoming longer and more complex, and typically held in bigger communities an hour or more away, getting new people the instruction they needed to safely handle themselves at a fire scene has proved problematic around the region and country. But when word spread among residents of Huletts Landing of the department’s need for volunteers, nearly two dozen agreed to help out.

Read the full story here.

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