PENFIELD, NY - Fire departments across the state are facing a shortage of volunteer firefighters.
There's only 47 full-time paid departments according to the state Firemens Association, but More than 1,900 departments depend on volunteers.
Recent research shows a drop in volunteers, but some people are still willing to give their time.
"A lot of kids have dreams of becoming a firefighter and it's just something that stuck with me, Taylor Kamp said.
Kamp joined the Penfield volunteer fire department about a year ago, but fewer people are stepping up to help.
The state needs more people like Kamp. Next month Penfield and other departments will open their doors to recruit volunteers.
"The problems come across mostly is the time commitment to be a volunteer firefighter, Chief Jeff Withall said. A lot of people have multiple jobs and don't have the time commitment to do that so anything we can do to recruit new members is hopeful to us."
Just like paid firefighters volunteers have to complete hours of training and be available to fight fires.
Ninety-seven percent of New York departments including penfield depend on them to help cut costs. To maintain equipment, this building and of course fire engine costs thousands sometimes millions of dollars, but tax payers and the town save millions by not having to pay salaries.
Not enough volunteers could prove problematic.
"It would mean an increase in taxes that they pay because we'd have to have paid professionals from that point on, Withall said. We've been all volunteer since 1849 and we're hoping to keep it that way."
Penfield firefighters protect both their town and neighboring communites like Rochester.
they say cuts to paid departments make recruiting volunteers a top priority.
Those cuts affect us as well," Withall said.
"The more people we can get the better, Kamp said. All hands on deck. kind of motto "
They're hoping this april there will be a wealth of incoming volunteers.
Again on April 9th, Penfield Fire Department along with many other fire departments in the area will be hold open houses.
If interested in serving another community you should contact the local department.