The Danby Volunteer Fire Company is a 100%-volunteer fire company protecting most of the town of Danby, NY. Other portions of the town are served by the West Danby Fire Department and the Brooktondale Volunteer Fire Company. We are one of two fire companies organized within the Danby Fire District.
Our mission is to provide the best possible fire protection, emergency medical, and related public safety services to the residents of the Danby Fire District. Under mutual aid agreements, we also respond when called to assist other municipalities.
What We Do
Many people's image of firefighters comes from Hollywood, where paid, full-time firefighters staff an urban firehouse 24/7. Though this is accurate of Ithaca and most larger cities, rural America is predominantly covered by volunteer fire departments. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 65% of U.S. firefighters are volunteers (source).
Danby is all-volunteer, from the newest recruit to the fire chief. Our members are regular folks who typically come to the company with no background in the fire service, and receive all their training through us. In the rest of their lives they are bus drivers, dishwashers, students, professors, lawyers, stay-at-home moms and retirees.
Most of the time there is no one staffing the firehouse. Members have pagers that alert them to emergencies. They respond from wherever they are in their lives — home, the grocery store, bed — directly to the scene, or to the firehouse for a truck. Unfortunately, combined with the long distances inherent to responding in a rural area, this means time is often against us.
Fire suppression is only a small portion of our annual call volume. The majority of our calls are for medical emergencies. We are not an ambulance service, which means we do not transport patients to the hospital. As a first response agency, we provide initial care until Bangs Ambulance arrives.
- Emergency medical services (non-transporting first response service assisting Bangs Ambulance)
- Heart problems, strokes, breathing emergencies, seizures, diabetic emergencies, allergic reactions, etc...
- Falls, car accidents, construction accidents, farm accidents, etc...
- Fire suppression & investigation
- Structure fires
- Vehicle fires
- Grass & brush fires
- Fire & carbon monoxide alarm activations
- Gas odors & leaks (in coordination with NYSEG)
- Determine cause & origin of fires
- Car accidents
- Missing persons search (in coordination with law enforcement agencies and NYS Forest Rangers)
- Assist technical rescue personnel from mutual aid fire departments (primarily Ithaca) with rope, confined space, trench, water, or ice rescues
- Storm damage cleanup
- Flooded basements
- Trees or wires down (in coordination with highway department and NYSEG)
- Hazardous materials response: Secure scene & assist responding hazmat team
- Control traffic at emergency scenes
- Public education and fire prevention activities
Who We Are
|Line Officers||Staff Officers|
|Chief||John Gaden||President||Peter Goodman|
|1st Assistant Chief||Tyler Dorn||Vice President||Roger Grant|
|2nd Assistant Chief||Dan Saracino||Secretary||Sharon Gaden|
|3rd Assistant Chief||Peter Goodman||Treasurer||Steve Hilsdorf|
|At Large Director||Amy Westmiller|
|At Large Director||Steve Hilsdorf|