A project to help volunteer fire departments throughout Warren County enhance their communication and public relations skills is one step closer to completion.
The Fire Services Committee of the Warren County Council of Governments has embarked on a internet/intranet project that will allow the departments to more effectively communicate with themselves and the community in an attempt to broaden public awareness and increase recruitment.
County Planner Dan Glotz informed the Council of Governments at the COG's Wednesday night meeting that two proposals received in response to a RFQ, request for quote, issued by the Fire Service Committee last month have been received. Glotz said that interviews with both of the service providers will be conducted next week. "(We're) trying to identify who it is that we are going to utilize for this particular project," he added.
So far, approximately $30,000 have been raised for the project. "That's about half of what we need," Glotz added. He pointed out that the three entities that have each provided $10,000 toward the project, the Community Foundation of Warren County, the Jefferson Defrees Foundation and the state Department of Community and Economic Development, have all expressed a willingness to field a request for additional funding early next year.
The need to address volunteer fire services in the county goes back to 2009 when COG created a subcommittee to address the declining number of volunteers throughout the county.
The funds will kick-start the project to create the collaborative network website of volunteer fire departments, hosted on the county level, to let the community know about the services provided and how the public can support the departments through fund-raising events.
"The collaborative network is something we are going to build, and train our firefighters to use this as a tool to reach out to the community," Pascuzzi said in July. "That's our vision, we're hoping that will help."