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Snow Moon over North Hill by Cindy Schreiner

Junior Firefighter Recruitment Camp Seeks to Bolster Allegany County Fire Department Ranks


On October 8, 2022, the first annual Junior Fire Fighter Recruitment Camp will be held at the Friendship Fire Department. The camp will provide youth from Allegany County an opportunity to learn about and experience firsthand what is involved in volunteer firefighting.

Through engaging hands-on and informational sessions, the camp is aimed to help alleviate desperately low recruitment at Fire Departments throughout the county.

“Fire and EMS volunteer organizations are experiencing dangerously low membership levels putting our local communities at risk for slower than optimal response times,” shared Daniel Woolston, Commissioner of the Belmont Fire District. “The low manpower levels also put our volunteers at risk as fewer hands on a job mean there is more risk for injury.”

Each of the 27 fire departments in Allegany County are invited to recruit 2 to 3 youth ages 16-18 to attend the camp. A nominal fee of $25 per participant will help offset event costs.

Throughout the one-day camp, youth attendees will be introduced to four key areas of volunteer firefighting: Basic External (fire) Operations; Internal (fire) Operations; Emergency Dispatch & Onsite HIPPA; and Pump, Nozzle & Hose Operations. Each of these introductory sessions will include a verbal presentation with corresponding practical experience by state, county, and district representatives, allowing participants an opportunity to learn more about the varying aspects of volunteer firefighting and what may best fit their individual capabilities and interests.

The Junior Firefighter Recruitment Camp is a cooperative initiative spearheaded by Leadership Allegany in partnership with the Allegany County Office of Emergency Management, with facilitation assistance from Rev-UP Hume.

Leadership Allegany participant Joe Histed noted, “Throughout Allegany County, volunteer firefighters serve an integral role in the protection of life and property of their community members, homes, and businesses. Our hope for this camp is to foster and develop a revived interest in Volunteer Firefighting throughout Allegany County townships.”

To learn more about the camp, please contact your local fire department chief or email Joe Histed at

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