Manlius firefighters begin recruitment drive

The recruitment drive has begun. Banners and signs are hanging throughout Manlius. Table campaigns are being held at local venues. An open house at Fire Station 1 is set to take place on Memorial Day.
The word is out: The Manlius Fire Department needs volunteers.
“Everybody can do something,” said volunteer firefighter Adam Feck, who listed a number of jobs with which people could help. “There are spots everywhere that are needed to be filled.”
Feck, who came on board last year, is a member of the Recruitment Committee with three other volunteers. Having been a traveling businessman in the past, Feck never had time to commit to any department – until now. Being an interior firefighter is something he’s always wanted to be, he said.
“I moved here with my wife and now three girls so I could be home every night,” Feck said. “And now that I am, I can run out every night!”
Feck and fellow firefighter Rich Gesler, also on the committee, laughed. But in a more sincere tone, Feck explained that he also wanted to meet others in the community, “to get some of the social atmosphere out of it as well,” he said.
Gesler agreed, adding that he, too, is fairly new to the area, and enjoys the camaraderie that comes with the job.
Sounds fun enough – why a need for a drive?
Because most people fear they don’t have enough time to commit, Gesler said, therefore numbers are down. There are currently 61 active volunteers at the Manlius FD. Ideally, they would like to see another 15 to 20 begin – and stay.
“If you brought two dozen or 20 in and you can retain 10 or 12 of them, that would be phenomenal,” Feck said, acknowledging the greatest challenge lies in keeping new members.
“Retention becomes the issue with training,” Gesler said, which involves six to eight months worth.
Once training is complete, though, time involved is fairly minimal.
“There are enough jobs that you can do even if it’s just a couple hours a week,” Gesler said. “You don’t have to do everything.”
As for safety, it’s of paramount concern to the department, Feck added.
“We’re held to some pretty high standards,” he said. “We’re trained heavily. We can only do certain things until we’re trained and cleared and ready to go.”
The fire department will hold an open house immediately following the Memorial Day parade on May 26. It is intended for both recruitment and the general public.
“It’s recruitment as much as it is community orientation, if you will,” Feck said. “It’s having the community come down and spray the fire hose, and get to know what we do here.”
Benefits of a volunteer firefighter
As with all volunteer opportunities, there are intrinsic and extrinsic values to consider when entering a long-term commitment. One volunteer expectation that’s listed in the department’s recruitment brochure emphasizes priorities: family first, employment second and the fire department third. Another hope is for men and women to enjoy the fellowship and rewards that come from serving the community. Other benefits include LOSAP – a $700 contribution made by the village of Manlius into a pension for each year of credited service; you become fully vested in five years. Additionally, firefighters get a New York State Income Tax Credit of $200 for active volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers. State/Federal training is available as well as participation in parades, committees and community events.
For more information, contact the Manlius Fire Department at 682-8318.

Available positions:
Fire Apparatus Operator
 Drive fire apparatus to emergency scene
 Provide water supply to/from water sources to fire hoses
 Control all aspects of the apparatus (i.e. rescue tools, scene lighting)
Interior Firefighter
 Perform fire extinguishment, interior search, vehicle extrication, alarm investigation, rope rescue, roof ventilation, ladder use, power and hydraulic tool operation and forcible entry
Scene Support
 Perform fire scene operations outside of structures
 Place water on fire from exterior, connect hoses to hydrants, place ladders and lighting and some rescue ops with additional training
Fire Police
 Ensure a safe scene for all personnel by controlling traffic
 Respond directly to scene utilizing your personal vehicle
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
 Provide direct medical care to patients and transport to hospital
Ambulance Operator
 Drive ambulance in emergency mode to scene and hospitals
 Assist medical crew with lifting, loading and unloading of patients
 Obtain equipment and supplies for medical crew
Source: Manlius FD Recruitment brochure

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