GODFREY — The village of Godfrey will team up with the Godfrey Fire Protection District to host a volunteer recruitment event to reach out to those who may be interested in becoming a volunteer/paid on-call firefighter candidate.
The event will be 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, in the main meeting hall of Godfrey Village Hall.
Fire Chief Erik Kambarian will provide information about the recruitment, selection and training process, or any other information a candidate wants to know about joining the fire service. For those who can’t attend, information and a downloadable application are available at godfreyfire.com/recruitment.
“In 2011, we had 40 firefighters on staff and responded to 1,642 calls,” Kambarian said. “The effects of the economic downturn since 2008 have really taken a toll on our property tax revenue the past few years and we have lost three career firefighter/EMT positions through attrition. Another effect of the economic downturn has been a reduction in volunteerism. More able-bodied men and women are working second and even third jobs to make ends meet instead of spending their available time to volunteer. Today we have only 30 firefighters (1 chief, 17 career and 12 volunteers) and are on track to respond to around 2,000 calls this year. I look forward to talking with anyone who wants to know more about who we are, what we do, and see if they have what it takes to serve.”
Chris Sichra, Godfrey’s public safety administrator, points out that while the village and fire protection district are separate bodies of government, local leaders recognize it’s imperative everyone work together for an efficient operation, especially during disasters, and even more importantly that they support each other during the good times and bad while they plan ahead or recruit.
Sichra also will be on hand to sign up residents for Code Red warnings, which alert residents via a phone call to weather notifications, boil orders and other time-sensitive information.
The next volunteer outreach event will be in October and the village will host Parrot Heads of the Riverbend, a charitable group of Jimmy Buffett enthusiasts that operates under the motto “party with a purpose.” The group raises funds for community projects, annually assembles and donates book bags loaded with back-to-school supplies to children, and donates work and repair projects to those in need throughout the year.