NYS Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services - OFPC

Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment and Retention Task Force

Authority: Chapter 258 of the Laws of 2020 and amended by Chapter 7 of the Laws of 2021

Mandate: The Task Force is responsible for making recommendations to improve volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention. The Task Force is required to submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature on its recommendations to include the following:

  1. Identifying existing Office of Fire Prevention and Control firefighter training and delivery methods to enhance and streamline training including the use of distance learning;
  2. The utilization of community colleges, BOCES or state accredited high schools to train firefighters and the creation of pilot programs that will offer Firefighter 1 certification;
  3. Analyzing the feasibility and necessity of creating a recruitment and retention unit within the Office of Fire Prevention and Control;
  4. Identifying existing and new tax incentives and benefits for volunteer firefighters;
  5. Identifying existing recruitment and retention programs in other states and the feasibility of adopting similar programs in New York; and
  6. Identifying incentives to assist in the recruitment of volunteer firefighters in under-represented and at-risk populations.

Task Force Members

(Member / Appointing Authority)
Elisha Tomko, Chair / Governor
Karren Bee-Donohoe / Ex-officio, State University of New York
James Cable / Ex-officio, State Fire Administrator
Donald Corkery / Ex-officio, Association of Fire Districts
John Farrell, Jr. / Ex-officio, Fireman's Association of New York
Donald Forbes / Minority Leader of the Assembly
Felipe Hernandez, Jr. / Governor
Arthur Hunsinger / Minority Leader of the Senate
Brittany Kitterman / Ex-officio, State Education Department
Kevin Klein / Temporary President of the Senate
Steven Klein / Speaker of the Assembly
Robert Kloepfer, Jr / Ex-officio, Association of Fire Chiefs
Gerald Knapp / Governor
Luci Labriola-Cuffe / Governor
Robert McConville / Speaker of the Assembly
Mary Alice Molgard / Governor
Kelly Murphy / Temporary President of the Senate
Scott Palladino / Ex-officio, Department of Taxation and Finance
Bill Streicher / Ex-officio, County Fire Coordinators Association
Stephanie Tubbs / Ex-officio, Department of Labor

Meeting Information:
November 29, 2021
Meeting Minutes

Task Force Documents:
PA Study
DE Study

Relevant Announcements:
December 1, 2021 - Governor Hochul Signs Bill Providing Tax Exemption on Property Owned by Members of Volunteer Firefighter Companies or Voluntary Ambulance Services in Monroe County

Media Inquiries:
All media inquiries should be directed to DHSESPIO@dhses.ny.gov