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Cheltenham Township Goes Online To Recruit Volunteer Firefighters

(Frame from a Cheltenham Township Fire Department video to recruit new volunteers.)

(Frame from a Cheltenham Township Fire Department video to recruit new volunteers.)

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CHELTENHAM TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) - Although Philadelphia’s own Benjamin Franklin is considered the father of modern firefighting, fire companies in nearby Cheltenham have been having a problem attracting new volunteers.

So, they turned to a new source.  And what better way to attract a new generation of volunteers than with YouTube videos?

With a $5,000 federal emergency management grant they got to attract recruits, Cheltenham Township in Montgomery County made and posted a series of short videos showing the joys and camaraderie of volunteer firefighting.

(Man #1 in video:)  “The brotherhood, the sense of camaraderie — that means women, too.  Everybody cares about each other.  Everybody wants to make sure everybody’s safe…”

(Man #2:)  “Training’s fun — we’re all in this to enjoy ourselves.  And this isn’t just for the cameras, guys: be safe, we all have to come home…”

(Man #3:)   “Out of 35 people, you just gained, say, 30 friends.”

The videos, called “Do You Have What It Takes,” went up Monday.

You can watch a sample at www.ctfd.net.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060