Since it's inception in 1851, the Cooperstown Fire Department has been made up of community members who volunteer their time to protect their neighbors. Volunteering takes many forms, and the same is true of our staff. Some members train as firefighters, other acquire skills and certifications to staff the ambulance, and some provide security, traffic control and crew support at emergency scenes.
Our members all have personal lives too, and come from all walks of life. We have carpenters, lawyers, teachers, moms, physicians, electricians, realtors, students, judges and healthcare workers, to name a few. Through regular training and strong leadership, crew members from all walks of life work together as a team to complete the task at hand.
We provide varied services, depending on the needs of the community.
Our services include:
emergency medical services
vehicle extrication and accident response
high and low angle rescue
helicopter landing zone support
advanced life support
special events staffing
What We Expect
Our membership requirements are:
18 years of age (unless active in Explorer Post 145, see an officer for details)
Completion of mandatory background check
Completion of probationary period (requires attending one or more classes in specific areas)
Active membership (includes attending meetings, drills and emergency calls)
What We Provide
Our fire department is busy, offering great potential for on the job learning. Averaging over 200 fire calls per year and 700 ambulance calls, Cooperstown is the busiest volunteer fire department in Otsego County. Many of our younger members have gone on to college programs in firefighting and emergency medical services, taking with them a strong knowledge base that can only be learned on real emergency calls.
Depending on interests, each member must obtain training in at least one of the specialty areas the department provides: Firefighting, Emergency Medical Services, or Fire Police. Additional levels of training in the specialties are available, as well as special skills and courses in Hazardous Materials Response, Vehicle Operations, Search and Rescue as well as others. Members can also choose to train in additional specialties.
Most training opportunities are offered locally, the exception being travel to the New York State Academy of Fire Science at Montour Falls, NY. Most training programs and associated expenses, once approved by the department, are free of charge.
Appropriate firefighting clothing and equipment is provided based on chosen specialty, and is maintained regularly at the department's expense.
Length of Service Awards Program
Active members of the department are eligible to participate in the Length of Service Awards Program, or LOSAP. This program, underwritten by the Village of Cooperstown, rewards years of active service with monthly benefits after retirement. Members earn credit for many different activities, and each earned year increases retirement benefits.
Department members are required to complete regular physical exams and respirator testing. There is no cost for these exams, and they are provided locally several times each year.
Annual events include parades, a Mid-Winter Banquet, golf and bowling groups, a summer clambake and Children's Christmas Party. Most events are free to members. Parade and formal uniforms are provided free of charge to active members.
Our membership committee is made up of several senior members of the department, and reviews each application received. They interview each applicant, review references, and complete a state required criminal history. They then report to the membership of the department, who elect applicants to membership.