By JOHN ANDERSON
The Allegany County Fire Chief’s Association has looked for new ways to recruit and retain firefighters across Allegany County. The latest initiative is an annual scholarship that will be handed out to a high school senior this year at graduation.
The $500 will go to a senior who is in good standing at their fire department, get a letter from the chief and send a letter to the association.
Allegany County Fire Chief’s Association President Tim Voss of Fillmore, who is the assistant chief at Short Tract, said each of the 28 departments are represented in the association.
“This is the first time we are doing it and we are hoping to do it every year,” Voss said. “We are starting to see younger members join a little bit, but we are still well below where we were 20 years ago. It’s hard to get kids in schools to come out for sports anymore, and even worse, volunteer fire departments.”
A high school senior has to apply by May 1. There are applications at each school in Allegany County in the guidance department.
The volunteers do not have a fundraiser planned at this time. The scholarships are coming from membership dues.
If you are interested in helping to fund the scholarship, the address is: Allegany County Fire Chiefs Association, C/O Allegany County Office of Emergency Services. 6087 State Route 19, Suite 160, Belmont NY, 14813.