On Saturday, Pleasantville residents can have a hearty breakfast and learn more about some of the people who protect them.
The Pleasantville Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a Community Pancake Breakfast and Open House at its headquarters at 75 Washington Ave. Pancakes will be served from 9 a.m. to noon while the open house will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The breakfast is $7 for adults and $3 for children five years old and under.
At the open house, the public will be treated to various simulations designed to provide a glimpse of the types of calls the department responds to. T-shirts will be available for $10 with the message “I Support the Pleasantville Volunteer Fire Department” on the front.
“This is not a fundraiser,” Department Chief Bruce LaMonica explained. “We want to give the public a firsthand view of what we do and make it a little easier for anyone who does have an inclination to volunteer to be able to do so.”
Brochures will be available to educate the public on volunteer opportunities, areas of specialization, required commitments and the steps needed to join. Demonstrations will include showing how firefighters get into and out of their gear, how they extricate a victim from a car crash and the steps they take to get ready to leave the firehouse for a call.
“Everybody will participate and really know what goes on when the horn blows,” said Brian McGowan, chairman of the Department’s Membership Committee.
The effort to attract more volunteers is part of a statewide initiative called RecruitNY as the number of volunteer firefighters shrinks across the state and country.
“We’re putting a huge focus on recruiting this year,” McGowan said. “We are facing a dwindling base of volunteers. People are more reluctant to join an organization like ours than in the past because they think it will absolutely monopolize their time.”
McGowan said citizens may also be intimidated to walk into a firehouse and ask to volunteer. These types of events breaks down barriers and makes easier for people to get involved.
“It puts a friendly face and makes it easier for someone to get information about the department,” McGowan said. “I just want the public to come and see what we do.”