Several areas of opportunity exist within the company, some but not all of which involve running calls.
Since the company is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week operation, people with all schedules are needed to help.
Daytime (8 AM to 5 PM) availability is especially needed.
This area represents the majority of all calls run by the fire company. Most are located in a residence and involve illness, heart attacks, broken bones, and other problems.
The fire company provides, through New York State, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training free of charge to all interested members. The EMT has a highly useful set of skills that allow for everything from applying a bandage to coping with life threatening problems. This is an exciting and highly rewarding field.
The Basic EMT (EMT-B) curriculum consists of the following training areas:
- Medical Legal Considerations
- Oxygen Equipment
- Patient Assessment
- Infants & Children
- Medical Emergencies
- Stress Management
- Behavorial Emergencies
An EMT-B can continue their education to become an Intermediate (EMT-I) or a Paramedic (EMT-P). The Intermediate level adds intubation and IVs to the EMT-B skill set, while the Paramedic adds EMT-I skills plus drug administration.
Fire protection was the reason for the founding of the company and remains an important function today. Every year the company responds to fires in structures, chimneys, cars, and fields. In addition to this, the role of fire protection has expanded to cover dealing with floods, downed power lines, car accidents, victim extrication, and any other situation where people don’t know who else to call.
A Firefighter is trained to handle a variety of situations that include fire suppression, extrication, and more. The fire company provides, through New York State, a variety of courses that include Firefighting Essentials, Initial Fire Attack, Pump Operations, and Vehicle Extrication.
If you are a member of the Fire Police team, you are primarily involved in traffic and crowd management. This is helpful not only at large fires, but also when other problems occur in the roadways, like accidents. After a short course, fire police are sworn in by the Wyoming County Sheriff and have legal authority in controlling roadways.
A member of the county Rope Rescue team is trained to remove victims from situations were extrication is difficult or impossible by normal means, such as on steep hillsides. Cowlesville and Bennington were the first two departments in Wyoming county to become involved with rope rescue, and the county now has an organized rope rescue team. There is an extensive training course available through the county and several experienced “jumpers” in the department.
There are Social Membership opportunities through the Ladies Auxiliary as well as the Fire Company:
The Auxiliary performs two major functions: it provides support to the department during long calls (Squad 10) and it sponsors several fund raising events each year. The Auxiliary holds an annual Chicken BBQ (1st Sunday in May) and a Clam Chowder sale (1st Sunday in October) as well as raffles and other events to raise funds for the fire company. The Auxiliary meets the first Tuesday of each month (Mar. – Nov.)
The Fire Company is in need of people to organize or help with the 3 to 4 fundraising events held throughout the year (such as our gun raffle), Open House events for the community, and our annual fund appeal to the district residents. At present, these functions are organized and run primarily by active fire company personnel which detracts from their time and ability to train for and perform their primary functions.
These fundraising events support operations, help support the purchase of new and replacement equipment, and raise community awareness of the local fire company.
The fire department accepts volunteers after they reach their 16th birthday. If you are between the ages of 16 and 18 you can respond to calls, drill with the department, and attend meetings. You can ride fire company equipment, provided that you are not displacing a senior member.
New members are encouraged to take the Basic Firefighter training program, which can be attended in the evenings or on weekends.
Conditions. As you might expect, special rules apply if you are under 18. These are primarily due to regulations, insurance, and school. So bear in mind that if you are under 18,
- Report to the chief or officer in charge at all calls.
- Have a signed consent form from parent or guardian on the application form.
You may not:
- Enter a burning building or other hazardous situation or area.
- Drive any fire or rescue vehicles.
- Be at the fire hall without a senior member present.
- Enter a residence for a first aid call unless asked to assist.
- Answer any calls between 23:00 (11:00 p.m.) and 07:00 (7:00 a.m.) on a night preceding a school day.
- Be late, miss, or leave school for a call unless authorized by the chief or officer-in-charge.
- Carry fire-company-issued pagers or radios into school.
- Remain at the hall for a prolonged time after any call or function is over.
Joining the department when you are under 18 is a great way to get an introduction to firefighting, emergency medicine, and rescue operations without the risks that sometimes accompany the work. Join in!