Danby Volunteer Fire Company

Danby, NY • Organized 1946

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Every firefighter and emergency medical care provider in the Danby Fire District is a volunteer, but no amount of dedication can make up for the fact that there just aren't enough of us. We need additional volunteers. Almost everybody joins with no prior emergency qualifications or experience; all training and equipment is provided at no cost to the volunteer. There's a variety of ways you can get involved, depending on your interests and availability:


Support Member

You do not need to become a firefighter or EMT to fill an important role in the Fire Company. Support members help maintain the fire station, assist with events and fundraisers, and may be called on to bring drinks or food to the scene of a long call. There is always work to be done, and always room for anyone willing to help do it. Commit as much time as you want to.

Active Member

Active members consist of all of our members who respond to emergency calls: this includes exterior and interior firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and fire police.

All categories of active members are required to have an annual physical exam (at no cost to the member) and obtain the following initial training:

Active members are also expected to regularly attend the Fire Company's training and meetings on Monday nights at 7:00 PM and to occasionally be available for Saturday training. This includes annual OSHA-required safety training.

Exterior Firefighter

Exterior firefighters perform all fire suppression skills except for using self-contained breathing apparatus to enter hazardous atmospheres or actively burning buildings. This includes advancing and operating hose lines, deploying ladders, operating pumps, securing a water supply, extricating trapped victims from wrecked vehicles, fighting grass & brush fires, and protecting neighboring structures from a fire. Most of our calls do not involve entering a burning structure and require only exterior firefighting skills; further, the actions of interior firefighters would be impossible without extensive support from exterior personnel.

In addition to the requirements for all active members, exterior firefighters need to take the 27-hour Scene Support Operations course. This is a New York State course usually offered annually in Tompkins County (plus offerings in surrounding counties) over about two or three nights or weekends per week for about three weeks.

Interior Firefighter

Only a few of our members are interior firefighters, trained to do what everyone thinks of firefighters doing: enter burning buildings to rescue trapped victims and put out the fire. Additionally, their training to use self-contained breathing apparatus enables them to get close to the toxic smoke produced by vehicle fires, or to deal with gas leaks or carbon monoxide problems.

In addition to the requirements for all active members, interior firefighters need to take the 87-hour Firefighter I course (about three months of a few nights per week, plus a weekend) and the 12-hour Firefighter Survival course (one weekend), and participate in regular SCBA training within the Fire Company.

Emergency Medical Services Providers

Five out of six of our calls are medical in nature. As a non-transporting first response service, we provide initial care in an emergency before transferring patients to Bangs Ambulance when they arrive.

Danby provides emergency medical care at the Basic Life Support Level. Medical responders in the department are certified at one of two levels:

The NYS Department of Health certifies two higher levels of care, AEMT-Advanced and AEMT-Paramedic. Danby is not equipped to provide care at these levels, but these are career opportunities for individuals who become an EMT with us and discover that they like it.

Fire Police

Fire police perform some of the most dangerous work for arguably the least recognition. Although fires are dangerous, one of the greatest hazards to firefighters is being struck by a careless driver on an emergency scene. A fire or accident can be very disruptive to traffic, and also create a spectacle that distracts drivers. The primary duty of fire police is to control traffic around an emergency scene in order to protect our members and the public from this danger. This often means standing for hours in inclement weather, doing work that is not as "exciting" or "heroic" as fighting fire or extricating an accident victim; however, fire police are an absolutely essential part of nearly all of our operations. Fire police may also perform other scene protection duties such as securing the scene during a fire investigation.

In addition to the requirements for active members, fire police take a 21-hour New York State course and are sworn in as peace officers.


We always require drivers for our emergency vehicles. Drivers must be full members of the Fire Company who have completed their probationary period, and must take an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (18 hours) and undergo training on each specific vehicle they want to drive. Drivers of a fire vehicle must be trained as exterior or interior firefighters.

Educated Citizen & Community Supporter

We understand that not everyone has the free time to give to joining the Fire Company. If this is your situation, you can still help us help you by taking a little time to make sure that you know how to help prevent and prepare for common emergencies. See our Safety Information page to learn more. You can also support us at community events or make a donation.

Membership Process

Junior Members

Individuals aged 16-17 are welcome to volunteer with us. Junior members must have the consent of their parent or guardian to apply. Junior members can participate in training, and in some emergency responses under supervision. Junior members are restricted from performing certain types of hazardous duties.