Wednesday, January 10, 2018




Culture shift cited for lack of volunteers in Sullivan

MONTICELLO – One Sullivan County fire department has not enrolled a new volunteer in five years.  Most fire and ambulance units are finding it harder to attract, train and keep long-term volunteers.

County Fire Coordinator John Hauschild told the county legislature’s Public Safety Committee on Tuesday that it is a shift in mindset among young people. 

“I think a lot of the things that we’re running into is our young students are so involved in school that they can’t commit to the long training classes and then when they graduate, they go to college, they don’t come back to our area,” Hauschild said.

The other issue is the changing nature of the county, its culture and traditions. 

“We used to have a lot of local businesses, family businesses where it was passed down from generation to generation and now we don’t have that.  We used to have a lot of farmers where their kids stayed in the area and they joined the local fire department to give back to their community and now we don’t have that.”

It's an ironic trend in a county now in a growth mode, with a casino about to open.

Deputy County Manager Daniel Depew said that both SUNY Sullivan and BOCES have cut back on programs to train and certify volunteers.  BOCES dropped it when a longtime staff member retired a few years ago. 


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