The need for volunteer firefighters in New York state is getting dire, according to President of the Firefighters Association of New York State (FASNY) Edward Tase.

What You Need To Know

  •  FASNY President Edward Tase said recruitment levels are getting critically low

  •  He said they have lost 4,100 volunteer firefighters across the state in the last two years

  •  FASNY members are asking state legislators to pass a tax credit increase for volunteers from $200 to $800

He says recruitment efforts are critically low and that they have lost 4,100 volunteers in the last two years.

“We need the help of the community now to help us help you, please,” said Tase.

FASNY kicked off their 15th annual recruitment campaign by asking state lawmakers to pass a tax credit increase for volunteer firefighters. Tase said they are asking for a bump from $200, which was set in 2006, to $800.

“I understand when people have to decide between putting food on their table or maybe giving back to the community, that's a very tough thing to argue against putting food on your table,” said David Morales, a volunteer firefighter and member of FASNY. “If you have those stipends, if you have those tax credits, those are the things that make it a lot easier [to] bridge that gap, more or less.”

Their unpaid service saves taxpayers $3.8 billion a year. Tase said volunteer fire companies need more than firefighters — they need other professionals to donate their time and skills, too.

“We need bankers. We need lawyers. We need landscapers to help us with our facilities that we have,” he said.

Tase says anyone interested can reach out to their local fire company or contact their legislators.