On April 9, 2016, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 60 fire departments will hold open houses at more than 80 locations throughout Connecticut. They’re celebrating Volunteer Firefighter Day (and the start of National Volunteer Week: April 10-16) and getting out the word about the shortage of volunteer firefighters.WHO: 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 15 Connecticut fire departments. 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.WHY: 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 on April 9 is our way of kicking off National Volunteer Week (April 10-16).
· 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. DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?
Allington Volunteer Fire Association, West Haven
Avon Volunteer Fire Department
Beacon Hose Co. No. 1, Beacon Falls
Beckerle & Co. Hose Co., Danbury
Bethany Volunteer Fire Department
Branford Fire Department
Broad Brook Fire Department
Brookfield Volunteer Fire Department
Center Groton Volunteer Fire Company
Central Village Fire Company #1, Plainfield
Coventry Volunteer Fire Association
Darien Fire Department
East Hartland Volunteer Fire Department
Easton Volunteer Fire Company
Flanders Fire Department, East Lyme
Gardner Lake Volunteer Fire Company, Salem
Haddam Volunteer Fire Company
Harwinton Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company Inc.
Killingworth Volunteer Fire Company
Ledyard Fire Company
Long Hill Volunteer Fire Company, Trumbull
Lost Acres Volunteer Fire, Granby
Manchester 8th District Fire Department
Marlborough Volunteer Fire Department
Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company
New Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department/Ball Pond VFC
Niantic Fire Department
Nichols Fire Department, Trumbull
Norfolk Volunteer Fire Department
Noroton Fire Department
Noroton Heights Fire Department
North Coventry Volunteer Fire Department
North Haven Fire Department
North Madison Volunteer Fire Company
North Thompsonville Fire Department, Enfield
Preston City Volunteer Fire Department
Rocky Hill Fire Department
Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company, Inc.
Shaker Pines Fire Department, Enfield
Shelton Fire Department
Somers Fire Department
South Windsor Fire Department
South End Volunteer Fire Department, New Hartford
Southington Fire Department
Stafford Fire Department No.1
Stamford Volunteer Firefighters Association
Suffield Fire Department
Taftville Volunteer Fire Department
Torrington Volunteer Fire Service
Trumbull Volunteer Fire Company
Warren Volunteer Fire Co., Inc.
Washington Volunteer Fire Department, New Preston
Watertown Fire Department
Westfield Fire Department, Middletown
Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department
Willington Fire Department #1
Willington Hill Fire Department
Winchester Volunteer Fire Department
Windham Center Fire Department
Windsor Volunteer Fire Department