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Become a volunteer first responder in Wellsville, Junior Firefighter program is back

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Six new recruits have joined in 2024, many more needed

First Junior training session set for January 21

By Andrew Harris, pictured former Fire Chief Fleischman give a tour to new recruits

First responders have been in the midst of crisis in the ranks for several years now. The crisis can be summarized as many volunteers are at retirement age, and very few are joining to maintain an adequate firefighting force.

The Wellsville Fire Department held an open house to introduce and interview anyone interested in the revived junior firefighter program. Every local company placed equipment on display with volunteers on hand to answer any questions about the tools of the trade. Anyone from 13-16 years old can become a junior firefighter and at the age of 16 they can choose to join one of the four companies. The junior program will be overseen by the department, not just one specific company, allowing the juniors to have participation with everyone, and help them make the decision on which company they would like to go to when they’re eligible to.

1st Assistant Captain of the Dyke Street Fire Company, and former Fire Chief, Kevin Fleischman is thrilled to announce that six new recruits have stepped up for the community. Fleischman said the fire department is still accepting new applications:

“We have a total of six signed up so far. They will go through a background check, and fire board approval. And we have our first training set for January 21st at 3pm. If anyone is still interested to please reach out or stop into one of the three fire stations.”

If you are between the ages of 13-16 and have interest in becoming a junior member, or May know someone that is please reach out or stop down for an application. A training is scheduled for Sunday January 21st at 3pm, at the Training Grounds. You’re welcome to stop by and check out the action, applications will be available that day as well. The training grounds are located at 3518 State Route 417 East Wellsville, NY.

If you have questions or wish to connect with the fire department online via email Wlsvfire@gmail.com or Facebook page.

The need for new members in all local volunteer emergency services is reaching a breaking point. Read a recent opinion piece by the Belfast NY Fire Chief Jeffery Chamberlain:

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