Purpose

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Why does the fireman wear red suspenders? You just might get the answer to that and other burning questions on April 26 at the Oceanic Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1, located at 4010 Victory Blvd.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. that Saturday, the volunteer firefighters will conduct tours of the Travis station and firefighter apparatus, conduct demonstrations, allow visitors to try on firefighter gear and answer questions.

Learn the requirements to be a volunteer, how to get involved with the fire company.

It's part of a statewide initiative to recruit much-needed new volunteers to fire companies.

Like most volunteer fire companies, Oceanic needs to bolster its emergency responder numbers so it can continue to provide the optimum level of protection for residents.

"Come on out and join us for this unique recruitment day at our firehouse," said Chief Robert Sawicki. "This is a great opportunity for our neighbors to observe the exciting tasks of a firefighter. Our current members love what they do; they are everyday heroes who help neighbors in need. We hope our recruitment day will inspire other area residents to join our fire service family."

Last year, more than 500 fire departments in 55 counties across the state held recruitment open houses.

Established in 2011, RecruitNY is a joint undertaking by the Firemen's Association of the State of New York, the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs Association of Fire Districts of New York State, Volunteer Fire Police Association of the State of New York, and County Fire Coordinators Association of the State of New York.

Questions? Consult www.recruitny.org or call Oceanic at 718-761-4246.

By Kiawana Rich | rich@siadvance.com