Departments around state to celebrate Volunteer Firefighter Day
In celebration of Volunteer Firefighter Day in Connecticut and the start of National Volunteer Week, April 23-29, more than 60 fire departments will hold open houses at nearly 80 locations throughout Connecticut at the same time on the same day, Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Visitors to the fire houses will be able to talk with volunteer firefighters about the work they do, see demonstrations, explore fire apparatus and turnout gear, get a tour of the fire house, and fill out an application.
More than 80 percent of all fire personnel in Connecticut are volunteers, and the majority of fire departments throughout the state are experiencing a volunteer shortage. Local fire departments need volunteers of all skill levels and abilities, people willing and able to respond to emergencies whenever called upon, as well as support personnel such as fire police, administrative assistants, and more.
Volunteer Firefighter Day is part of Everyday Hero CT, a program dedicated to increasing the number of volunteer firefighters throughout the state. A partnership of the Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association (CFCA) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the Everyday Hero CT campaign is a two-year Volunteer Workforce Solutions (VWS) initiative designed to address the shortage of volunteer firefighters in Connecticut. It is helping achieve a viable and sustainable volunteer firefighter workforce for fire departments throughout Connecticut. Everyday Hero CT is funded by a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant awarded to the CFCA by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop a model to enhance the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.
Connecticut has more than 300 fire departments staffed by over 26,000 firefighters, 83 percent of whom are volunteers and are professionally trained.
Volunteer firefighters can be called upon 24 hours per day, seven days per week to abandon the warmth and comfort of their homes in the middle of the night or during a holiday celebration, leave the fun of family gatherings on sunny summer afternoons, enter burning buildings, rescue stranded hikers and struggling swimmers, extricate victims from automobiles, and more.
Volunteer firefighters save their communities millions of dollars every year.
The majority of fire departments throughout Connecticut are experiencing a volunteer shortage.
In Litchfield County, the following departments are participating in Sundays festivities: Canaan Fire Company, 4 East Main Street, Canaan; Harwinton West Side Fire Department, 199 Scoville Hill Road, Harwinton; Kent Volunteer Fire Department, 28 Maple Street, Kent; Norfolk Volunteer Fire Department, 20 Shepard Road, Norfolk; Northville Volunteer Fire Department, 359 Litchfield Road, New Milford; Pleasant Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Station 1: 44 Pleasant Valley Road, Pleasant Valley; Winchester Volunteer Fire Department, Newfield Road, Winchester; and the Winsted Fire Department, Station 1: 27 Elm Street, Winsted.