Wayland, N.Y.--State Senator George H. Winner, Jr. (R-C-I, Elmira) and Assemblyman Jim Bacalles (R-C, Corning) recently joined the members and officers of the Wayland Fire Department for a ceremony to unveil the department’s new Fitness Room.
Winner and Bacalles secured $14,000 in the 2007-08 state budget for the department to establish a Fitness Room at the station and to purchase a variety of new equipment including state-of-the-art cardio trainers, treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bicycles, weight training stations and dumbbells.
Wayland Fire Department Captain Danny J. Dean said that the new Fitness Room will enhance the physical fitness and health of many department members, and their families, and that the department hopes to make the room available to neighboring departments. He added that the new room will also make the department more attractive to potential volunteers and benefit the department’s recruitment and retention efforts.
In a joint statement, Bacalles and Winner said, "The volunteer fire department remains a bedrock of many local, rural communities like Wayland. This initiative will enhance the health of our volunteer firefighters and serve as a tool for recruitment and retention. It’s a wise investment all the way around."
Winner has identified the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters and other emergency services personnel as a top issue facing rural, upstate communities. He continues to sponsor legislation in the Senate that would help localities bolster their volunteer ranks by offering tax breaks and other incentives, including participation in public employee health insurance plans.