CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – Doyle Hose Company #2 has rebooted a program to help attract and retain younger members to their ranks, and they’re asking for the community’s help in defraying some of the costs.
In 1988, the firefighters started a Fire Service Exploring Program in conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America. The program was a definite asset to the department for 28 years in recruiting young volunteer firefighters into the fire service. It was mothballed in 2006 after young people lost interest.
Now, the program is back after a decade-long hiatus, and the area’s youth are interested again says Craig Maconaghy, Jr. the program’s advisor and training officer.
“We currently have 11 kids from the Winchester Fire District, Doyle Fire District and the Village of Sloan. The goal is to teach the kids while they’re young the basic principles of firefighting, emergency medical services, and rescue,” said Mr. Maconaghy.
They also have four members over the age of 18 participating. The explorers, who range in age from 14-21 years old can do everything a real firefighter can do except for being put in a live fire situation.
The program is run by the Boy Scouts of America, and they cover a bulk of the funding. However, small administration costs and uniforms are the responsibility of the local fire departments.
“Teaching the kids to participate in a fundraising effort at a young age will help as they become actual members and realize that fundraising is a part of what we do, because unfortunately if you don’t have nice things, it’s hard to keep members around,” added Mr. Maconaghy.
Explorers will be out collecting bagged, returnable cans and soda bottles from homes throughout the Doyle Fire District on July 6th, August 3rd, and September 7th. Residents can also drop off their cans at Doyle Hose #2 on Willowlawn Parkway from 6pm-10pm on collection days. Check the flyer to see when the explorers will be on your street.