The Fire Company
Elsmere Fire Company “A” was formed in June of 1922 through the consistent efforts on the part of a few residents of Elsmere.
These residents, interested in protection from fire and decreased insurance rates, formed a volunteer fire company. On November 18, 1922, a special election was held by the Town Board. At this meeting, the citizens voted to create the Fire Company and fund it accordingly. On the first Friday of December, 1922, the Elsmere Fire Company met, organized, adopted a constitution and elected its first officers. This anniversary is still celebrated each year by its current members.
The Fire Company has grown since that date. The active membership is currently authorized for 80 firefighters and social memberships numbering well over 200.
The Fire District/Fire Company relationship is a joint and mutual effort toward a common goal: the protection of life and property. While the District, as described previously, is responsible for the administration of taxpayer’s funds for fire suppression and prevention programs, the Fire Company, a fraternal organization, is appointed by the Fire District to physically carry out these goals.
The Fire Company consists of District, and Company Line and Civil officers as a managing body for the membership, providing a balance for the organization. The District Officers, Chief and two Assistant Chiefs, supervise fire suppression, training, and safety program activities. Assisted by Line Officers, a Captain and five Lieutenants, they all work together within a structured system toward a common goal of fire protection and prevention. The Civil Officers, such as President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Quartermaster, and Directors are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Fire Company.
The Company members meet each Tuesday and the last Thursday of each month for training and company meetings. The membership contributes more than 6,200 man hours a year training and perfecting the skills of firefighting.
Firematic training at Elsmere incorporates several methods. Classroom instruction provides the firefighters with technical training in the areas of fire dynamics, tactics, command, and firefighter safety.
Actual “Hands On” training is accomplished with live fire situations conducted at the Chief Kevin M. Shea Town of Bethlehem Fire Training Facility located on Center Lane next to the Delmar By-Pass. Here firefighters are trained in actual structure, vehicle, and hazardous materials type fire situations.
Courses offered by NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control, NYS Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Service Instructors, National Fire Protection Association, Conrail, and others, are presented when available.
The dedication of the officers who manage and present the training programs, along with the personnel who attend and learn, keep Elsmere a fine-tuned, professional, firefighting force with a dedication to the residents of the District that is second to none.
The Real Thing
The Fire Company answers more than three hundred emergency alarms each year. Generally these calls involve vehicle, structure, brush and grass fires, auto accidents, and hazardous materials incidents. Many other life threatening emergency situations are also handled as they occur.
All alarms are answered by a full compliment of firefighters and equipment, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Company also answers and requests, when needed, mutual aid. This system of mutual aid is an agreement by the fire departments within Albany County to render assistance to neighboring departments in the event of an emergency.
The Elsmere Fire Company has been instrumental in the success of a number of community action programs. During Fire Prevention Week, many programs such as “Learn Not To Burn” and “E.D.I.T.H.” are presented to school children, scout groups and others in the interest of promoting fire prevention education. Tours of the fire station are also a part of this service and are available to interested groups at anytime during the year. Elsmere has designated staff available to put on such programs upon request.
What About Us?
Elsmere is not all work and no play. Below is a partial list of things we do for fun:
Annual Inspection Dinner * Memorial Day Parade and Family Picnic * Golf Outing * Family Camping * NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Parties * Theme Nights * Pub Nights * Mystery Bus Ride and Dinner * Winter Sports Day * Ice Skating * Fire & Rescue Ski Challenge * Adult Holiday Party * New Years Party * Children’s Holiday Party * Annual Anniversary Party * Super Bowl Party * Bowling Tournament and much more.
What About You?
Even in times when many volunteer fire departments have experienced manpower problems, Elsmere has been fortunate to maintain a full membership most of the time. However, there is always a need for additional members. Previous fire service background is not needed. If you are age 18, in good health, and have a desire to play an important and proud role in your community, visit the firehouse any Tuesday evening, look around, and obtain additional information regarding membership.