Penfield Volunteer Fire Company
The Penfield Fire Company is comprised of 100% VOLUNTEERS of both men and women from the local community of Penfield. You may have a neighbor on your street that is a member and may have never realized it.The Penfield Fire Company operates within the Penfield Fire District which is roughly 30 square miles that covers a majority of the town of Penfield along with parts of the town of Perinton.The fire company member’s supply fire suppression, rescue operations, supplemental medical support and various other services to our community whenever called upon. We respond 24 hours a day 365 days a year to help anyone in the community during a time of need.The Penfield Fire Company is supported by the generosity of donations from the community. Money raised via our annual fund drive pays for on-going training for the members uniforms, and protective clothing such as helmets boots and fire coats, smaller pieces of equipment, and all other training whether it's formal state certified or in-house station training. The fire company survives on donations alone and is a non for profit organization.
Penfield Ladies' Auxiliary
The Penfield Ladies Auxiliary has been in continuous service since 1940. Since its inception, the Auxiliary has virtually consisted of wives of active Penfield Volunteers but in many instances close relatives were admitted, something akin to the family traditions so much a part of the Penfield Fire Company. In 1991, this Auxiliary was recognized by the Ladies Auxiliary of FASNY for 50 years of service of dedicated service and to date has increased its longevity to 70 years so far.
Traditionally, the Ladies Auxiliary has always been there to assist the Active firefighters whenever asked, be it the preparation of food at the fire station when the volunteers were heavily engaged in a large fire or emergency situation, to march in parades, help with the fund drive, open houses, or putting on dinners if Penfield is hosting a firematic functions. The dedication of these ladies is often reflected in there warm smiles and hard work that is put forth when they too show up at late hours sometimes leaving work and family behind for the better of the community.
During the 1950's and extending into the 1970's, membership was at a high level but beginning with the 1980's the rolls declined for a whole host of reasons such as the decreased number of parades especially with Northern Central and FASNY and locally. The present membership has on its rolls some remaining veterans but within the last few years an influx a very young members joined who are "attached" to some of the newer firefighters. Perhaps this is a great omen of things to come and has certainly invigorated the Auxiliary.
Penfield Exempt Firemen’s Association
For over fifty years the primary purpose of the Exempts Association has been to promote social interaction and friendship among its members and the members of the Penfield Fire Company. To be eligible for membership, a person must have completed five years of active service as a Volunteer Fireman.
The Association meets five times during the year and usually has a social function in August along with several other sport or social events during the winter months. The annual meeting is in November with the election of officers who may serve only two consecutive years in office except for the secretary and treasurer. Eight members are elected to serve on the Board of Directors initially for a four year term and each two new members are elected as a Director.
Every two years the Board of Directors nominates a member to the position of "Honorary Chief". This honor is bestowed upon a member who has served the association in an outstanding manner over the year.
The association has served for over fifty years and will continue doing so the the enthusiasm and support of its members. Down through the years the Exempts have rendered services to teh actives Penfield Volunteers whenever called, especially during the fund drives.
Penfield Explorer Post 576
The Explorer Post 576 was started in the early 1970's for young adults between the ages of 14 to 18 who are interested in firefighting and rescue as a career. This exploring program is a starting point for those who wish to begin early in emergency services to get ahead. In Post 576 explorers are trained along side firefighters getting involved with firefighting operations. Explorers actually participate in real life emergency events around the town such as changing air pack bottles, setting up hydrants, and setting up tool inventory stations for firefighters. There are limits set in the program so that the post 576 doesn't interfere with school work.
Over the past several years many members who joined the program eventually graduated to firefighters, then to line officers, to eventually the chief of the company.
The explorer program isn't just limited to firefighting as there are several different branches out there to choose from. Check out scouting.org for more info.
A lot of people ask us; what's the difference between the fire district and fire company, aren’t they the same?
The fire district commissioners by definition:
A fire district is a political subdivision of the State of New York and a district corporation. The fire commissioners and other officers and employees of the fire district are employees and officers of the fire district and not officers and employees of the town or of any other political subdivision. The fire district is also an independent corporate entity governed by a separate board of fire commissioners. This is not to be confused with a fire protection district which is simply a geographic area, with no independent corporate status for which the town board is responsible for providing fire protection.
A board of five fire commissioners governs every fire district in New York State. These commissioners are elected by the qualified voters of the fire district at the annual election held on the second Tuesday of December of each year. Each commissioner is elected for a five-year term commencing on the 1st of January following the election. One commissioner is elected each year so that there will always be experienced commissioners on the board. Fire district commissioners receive no compensation.
Being that the fire district is governed by five individuals the district then employs a fire company of firefighters whether they are paid or volunteer to provide emergency service to the community. While the fire company takes care of emergencies the district commissioners make the decisions on how fire tax money is spent. Placement on how and where stations should be built sometimes utilizing independent studies to formulate there decisions, what equipment to buy, and the up keep of such properties and equipment. Fire District funds are also used to provide all of the necessary insurance needs for both the firefighters, the fire vehicles and the properties owned by the District. Financial support for the district obtained through the collection of fire taxes from your local town. Once the taxes are collected by the Town of Penfield the monies are then turned over to the Fire District. Every district’s fire protection levy is different due to the size of the area, paid or volunteer staff, and other various needs specific to their area. The town of Penfield is responsible for collecting taxes for three fire districts including The Penfield, West Webster, and North East Joint fire districts. The town collects the money for all three and then disperses it accordingly.
The Fire Company are the firefighters who show up when 911 is called, from the chief to the newest recruits. In Penfield the fire company is made up volunteers from the local community. They are in charge of handling emergencies that happen within the Penfield Fire District. Although it sounds simple there are still many regulations from the State, OSHA, and NFPA that need to be met yearly to keep the fire company in compliance. Countless hours are spent on drills and other training by the members.
In turn the fire company has nothing to do with the tax money or setting the tax level. The fire company does not purchase any of the equipment or build any of the stations they use, that’s up to the commissioners to provide.
Financially the fire company survives off of its yearly fund drive and donations from the community. Money collected is turned around and typically used for training, firefighter turnout (one item not provided by the fire district), as well as recruitment and retention efforts to keep the volunteer service strong. Without those donations running a fire company would be near impossible.
The Penfield Volunteer Fire Company Operates within the Penfield Fire District, two completely separate entities. One fights fire and provides emergency services while the other governs the fire protection area. It’s a method of checks and balances to prevent the gross negligence of tax dollars while providing a vital service.