Clifton Park Firehouse to host Firefighter for a Day event Saturday 10/1

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CLIFTON PARK The Clifton Park Firehouse will let members of the public become a Firefighter for a Day during a new hands-on recruitment event this weekend.

The Clifton Park Firehouse, located at 38 Old Route 146 in Clifton Park, will welcome anyone 14-or-older to visit anytime between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday to participate.

“They will be able to perform hands-on activities that we do on a regular basis in the fire service,” said Arthur Hunsinger, the department’s past chief. “Basically, [we’re] promoting the fact that there’s a job for everyone. If you don’t want to be the person that’s running into the building, there’s still jobs for people on the exterior that they can help with.”

He explained that Saturday’s event is part of a recruitment drive for emergency services personnel.

More: All News | Everything Clifton Park-Halfmoon

“That’s our goal, in hopes that we get people in, and we get them to do practical, and they’ll understand that it’s not as bad as they think,” Hunsinger said. “That it’s probably something that they themselves can do.”

Participants will have the opportunity to try a number of different activities on Saturday, such as manning a hose line, putting out a car fire, operating the jaws of life, practicing forcible entry on a training door the department uses and wearing fire gear, Hunssinger said.

The idea for Clifton Park’s Firefighter for a Day event was inspired by a Fire 101 event the Albany Fire Department held five years ago, when they invited members of the media to come and learn about what the department does.

“I thought to myself, ‘why can’t we do that with the general public,’ to recruit them into the volunteer fire service,” Hunsinger said. “And I started developing the idea, reached out to our attorneys, and our insurance agents to look and see if it was something we could do.”

COVID put a delay in the plans for the Firefighter for a Day, Hunsinger said. Now is the time to do it, he explained, as Fire Prevention Week begins a week after Saturday’s event.

Saturday’s event will bring six mutual aid fire departments together, Hunsinger said. Depending how well this weekend’s event goes, they may consider doing similar events at other locations, or doing another Firefighter for a Day event in Clifton Park.

“We believe this is a great opportunity for people to actually come and put their hands on the equipment and see what we do,” Hunsinger said. “And hopefully that will get them to see they can do this.”

Anyone who is interested in participating Saturday can register by emailing; [email protected] and should include their name, age, address and phone number.

The state of New York allows fire departments to have junior members at age 14-and-up and allows individuals to be volunteer firefighters at age 16-and-up.

“There is a job for everyone in volunteer services, and maybe it’s being a support person, where you’re there if we need stuff brought to the scene, maybe it’s fire police, where you’re directing traffic around our people to make it as safe as possible. That’s the message we’re trying to get out this weekend, come and see all the different things that we do, and know there’s a job for everyone.”

The people who drive the fire trucks and the people who bring the water to the scene are just as important as the ones who are running into the burning building, Hansinger said.

More: All News | Everything Clifton Park-Halfmoon

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