Danby Volunteer Fire Company

Danby, NY • Organized 1946

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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.

Services provided:

Who We Are

2020 Officers:

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
Lieutenant Simon Wyatt
At Large Director Amy Westmiller
At Large Director Steve Hilsdorf