Five Montgomery County volunteer fire companies have banded together in a unique joint effort to recruit new members.
Each of the five fire companies — Black Rock Volunteer Fire Company, Centre Square Fire Company, Linfield Fire Company, Limerick Fire Company and the Royersford Fire Department — will independently hold open houses this Saturday, May 5, to promote the importance of volunteer participation.
In recent years, volunteer fire companies everywhere have been experiencing an on-going shrinkage of the manpower pool.
“Volunteer fire fighters within the commonwealth are a dying breed,” said Joseph LoCasale, president of Black Rock Volunteer Fire Company. “The primary purpose of this Saturday’s multiple open houses is to let residents of our service areas know that their fire companies are staffed by volunteers and that there is always a need for additional manpower. It is our hope that more residents will step forward and give it a try.”
He stressed that being a volunteer with a fire company doesn’t mean that you have to be a firefighter.
“If fire fighting is not for you, there are other opportunities to help out, such as fire police, administration, fire prevention education, vehicle and station maintenance and public relations.”
In the past, recruitment efforts have been hosted by individual fire companies. But, since the need for manpower exists throughout the country, “our feeling was that this joint initiative — at multiple open houses on the same day — will help highlight the importance of our recruitment efforts,” said LoCasale.
Black Rock will hold its open house at the Oaks station on Green Tree Road from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity not only to see the firefighters demonstrate their skills; they will also be able to try on fire fighting gear, operate the fire hose, handle vehicle rescue tools and inspect the fire apparatus.
For Centre Square, Saturday’s open house goes beyond volunteer recruitment. From a.m. to 1 p.m., the company will be showcasing its new two-story, six-bay, 19,000 square foot station house, which includes a communications room, recreation room, bunk rooms, patio and offices for operational and administrative members.
Richard Moser, president of Centre Square, said the community has been especially supportive of the company’s efforts.
“The public has helped us out tremendously with our fund raising events as well as with the township fire tax. “Actual construction took a year-and-a-half. This week’s open house is an opportunity for residents to see the results of their continuing support,” he noted.
Limerick and Linfield are hosting their open houses at the same time, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at their respective fire stations: Limerick at 390 W. Ridge Pike in Limerick Township and Linfield at 1077 Main St., Linfield.
Royersford Fire Department will also be showcasing its new station house at 3rd and Walnut streets during its open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The new two-story, four-bay, 11,250 square foot facility includes a communications room, training room, fitness room and administrative offices.