Union Fire District unveils new website to encourage volunteers | News

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, RI – The Union Fire District has launched a revamped website that showcases its members and makes it easier for new volunteers to apply to join local service.

The new website, unionfiredistrict.com, has several user-friendly and resource-oriented features, including information about the department as a whole, the various individual stations in the district, a news page, and more.

UFD leader Steven Pinch announced the launch of the new website last week.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer this brand new website to the community of South Kingstown and beyond,” said Pinch. “It will greatly simplify the application process, offer detailed information about each of the stations in the Union Fire District, and feature the latest department news, all in one easy-to-navigate space.”

For future volunteers, the site offers a frequently asked questions page and a training section.

The “Become a Volunteer” page offers information for anyone considering joining the Union Fire District. There are links for Junior Membership open to 16-17 year olds and Full Membership for 18+.

The ability to apply to volunteer online will make it much easier for residents to navigate UFD’s new membership process, according to Pinch.

Along with these features, there are also pages where residents can contact the department and find out more about the Chief, Deputy Chief, and Deputy Chiefs.

The website was designed by John Guilfoil Public Relations and was built using the WordPress website platform. It features a modern HTML 5 “Responsive Design” that works equally well on computer, tablet and smartphone screens.

The site also links directly to the department’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, which residents are encouraged to connect to in order to have quick access to the latest updates from the Union Fire District.

In 2020, the district received $442,000 in federal funds to increase retention and numbers – before there was a problem – in its all-volunteer corps of people who show up in the heat, snow, ice and hurricanes to help others.

The Union Fire District includes eight stations throughout the city and covers approximately 64 square miles. Over the past 10 years, the number of active firefighters in the district has dropped from a peak of around 120 to around 80 to 90 in recent years.

A nationwide shortage of volunteers prompted the department to prevent a fire before it started. The grant is designed to be used over four years to increase participation and make volunteering more attractive through better incentives.

The problem of the disappearance of volunteers in society was examined in a 2018 study from the University of Maryland, “Where Are America’s Volunteers?” He found that since 2005, the national volunteer rate has fallen from 28.8% to a 15-year low of 24.9% in 2015.

The study, which analyzed the activities of people aged 16 and older in all 50 states, also found that if the volunteer rate had not declined at all between 2004 and 2015, more than 9.8 million ‘Additional Americans reportedly volunteered in 2015.

Daniel L. Vasquez