"Retention becomes the issue with training," Gesler said, which involves six to eight months worth.
Once training is complete, though, time involved is fairly minimal.
"There are enough jobs that you can do even if it's just a couple hours a week," Gesler said. "You don't have to do everything."
As for safety, it's of paramount concern to the department, Feck added.
"We're held to some pretty high standards," he said. "We're trained heavily. We can only do certain things until we're trained and cleared and ready to go."
The fire department will hold an open house immediately following the Memorial Day parade on May 26. It is intended for both recruitment and the general public.
"It's recruitment as much as it is community orientation, if you will," Feck said. "It's having the community come down and spray the fire hose, and get to know what we do here."
Benefits of a volunteer firefighter
As with all volunteer opportunities, there are intrinsic and extrinsic values to consider when entering a long-term commitment. One volunteer expectation that's listed in the department's recruitment brochure emphasizes priorities: family first, employment second and the fire department third. Another hope is for men and women to enjoy the fellowship and rewards that come from serving the community. Other benefits include LOSAP -- a $700 contribution made by the village of Manlius into a pension for each year of credited service; you become fully vested in five years. Additionally, firefighters get a New York State Income Tax Credit of $200 for active volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers. State/Federal training is available as well as participation in parades, committees and community events.
For more information, contact the Manlius Fire Department at 682-8318.
Fire Apparatus Operator
Drive fire apparatus to emergency scene
Provide water supply to/from water sources to fire hoses