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N.Y. FD wins state award for proactively addressing staffing needs

The Snyder Fire Department was recognized for improving their recruitment and retention plans


Snyder Fire Department/Facebook

By Harold Mcneil
The Buffalo News

AMHERST, N.Y. — The Snyder Fire Department in Amherst received the Firefighters Association of the State of New York’s Recruitment and Retention Award at the association’s recent convention in the Town of Niagara.

As with fire departments across the state, the Snyder Fire Department had experienced a dwindling number of volunteers to respond to more fire and emergency medical services calls, according to Edward Tase, president of the Firefighter’s Association of the State of New York. The department has 70 members who average 52 years of age, which is similar to the national average.

Having previously recruited, on average, two new members per year, it welcomed 21 new members in 2022. Five additional recruits joined in 2023.

“The success of the Snyder Fire Department should be an example for the volunteer departments in the entire state of New York,” said Tase, in a statement. “Increasing membership like they did, being creative, retaining members and implementing a plan is something all departments should all strive for.”

In 2020, to proactively address its future staffing needs, the Snyder Fire Department formed a committee that developed a four-part recruitment plan that included expanding residency boundaries for members.

The Snyder Fire Department also hosted “Coffee with a Firefighter” events in which prospective volunteers could visit the fire station, have a cup of coffee, take a tour and talk with firefighters.

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