ROCKY HILL, CT (WFSB) – The number of volunteer firefighters across the state is dwindling as job responsibilities and family commitments increase.
With that being said, Everyday Hero Connecticut is a program dedicated to volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention.
83 percent of firefighters are volunteers and Everyday Hero CT is looking for people who have a passion to serve and the enthusiasm to give back to their local community.
Most towns cannot support career firefighters because the call volume is not high enough.
Fred Dudek of Everyday Hero CT said there is a lot of work and training to become a volunteer firefighter, but the rewards are well worth it.
Recruitment typically includes a background check, a physical test, and orientation so there is an understanding of what the job entails.
“I would go to the local fire headquarters and see what the recruitment opportunities are or what the volunteer opportunities are,” Rocky Hill Fire Chief Michael Garrahy said.
Dudek believes the shortage in volunteer firefighters is due to longer work hours and busier family lives.
“Because of social media, cell phones, everyone’s moving so fast. Everyone’s working long hours,” Dudek said. “It becomes a time element. There’s just not the time to give to the town or community to become a volunteer firefighter.”
Most departments train once a week, there are meetings, and work details to maintain the grounds.
To learn more about how to become a volunteer firefighter, click here.