De­part­ments around state to cel­e­brate Vol­un­teer Fire­fighter Day

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - LOCAL NEWS - Story con­trib­uted by Con­necti­cut Fire Chiefs As­so­ci­a­tion and Ev­ery­day Hero CT cam­paign.

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.

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