This weekend more than 300 volunteer fire departments across New York will host open houses to recruit new members.
The Firemen's Association of the State of New York is holding the seventh annual RecruitNY April 29-30. Volunteer firefighters at local departments will conduct firehouse tours, demonstrate firefighting techniques and allow visitors to try on gear.
At least 26 local volunteer fire departments in Erie County will participate. To find out if your local fire station in your county is participating click on this link http://www.recruitny.org/participation-area/
Right now the State of New York has 110,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in the state.
Between 2011 and 2014 more than 20,000 residents joined local volunteer fire stations across New York.
However, officials are concerned about the declining number of volunteers, since many of the older volunteers are retiring.
"You walk into most fire houses you'll see a graying fire force. So it's important that we replace individuals to avoid a situation where a community would have to think about we don't have enough volunteers," Erie County Executive, Mark Poloncarz said.
Volunteer firefighters have saved the state of New York more than $3 billion. They have saved tax payers millions in Erie County over the years.
For more information go to www.recruitny.org