Organizers of the York Can-Am Police-Fire Games are looking for volunteers, and a lot of them, to help out when the games are held this summer.

In a grassroots campaign, the organizers appealed Tuesday to about 50 people who attended a meeting at the York Expo Center to not only volunteer but to also get friends and family to help out.

"Get with your friends. Get with your family, your co-workers and spread the word," said Rich Reinke, of the York County Sheriff's Department and the games' deputy sports director.

Organizers are looking for 600 volunteers to help with everything from registration to handing out water to athletes during races.

"We want to put you somewhere where you have expertise or an interest so you can have a good time," Reinke said.

The games: The Can-Am Games are held every two

years and are open to current and retired law enforcement, fire and EMS officials and their spouses.

The 2014 Games, to run July 13-30, will feature more than 50 sporting events, including traditional athletic competitions, such as swimming, softball, golf and cycling, as well as profession-specific events such as SWAT, police service dog, toughest firefighter alive and toughest competitor alive.

Over 20 venues will be set up across the county and also in Lancaster and Dauphin counties.

The games will feature first responders from the U.S. and Canada and also drew interest from their counterparts in Russia, Bahrain, India and Pakistan, Reinke said.


Highlight York: Wes Kahley, York City Police chief and co-chairman of the games, said this is an opportunity to showcase York County.

"We need ambassadors to put York on the map," he said.

York County tourism officials are expecting an economic impact of $4 million when upwards of 3,000 athletes take part in the games.

To sweeten the deal for the unpaid work, each volunteer who helps out during the games, and also gets three other volunteers to also help out, will be entered to win the latest tablet computer, whatever it may be.

"It's a little incentive. Put something tasty at the end of the stick," Reinke said.

While the recruitment effort is still in the early stages, Arthur Smith, chief of the West Manchester Township Police Department and co-chairman of the games, said help from volunteers will make the games a success.

"We're committed to making this the best Can-Am Games there ever was," Smith said. "To me, this is the most important part of the games, the volunteers."

-- Reach Greg Gross at

For more information on how to volunteer to help out during the 2014 York Can-Am Games, go to