The Briarcliff Manor Fire Department has been 100% volunteer since 1901. We are your friends and neighbors, there for you for any emergency. BMFD responds to over 1,000 fire, MVA, and ambulance calls every year.
Who Is Eligible?
Men and women over the age of 18 who live or work in Briarcliff/Ossining/Mount Pleasant can apply to join.
Junior members as young as 16 can join. They will need their guardians’ permission and will have a limited firefighting role.
What Is My Commitment?
We have other obligations too, so we understand. Each company has one meeting and one drill each month. You are expected to attend most of these meetings and drills. There are also special work nights to keep the equipment in repair.
As for emergency calls, you come when you can. Our volunteer system works because there are enough of us to cover any given emergency call. Even a minimum of one call a week will help immensely. Some make more workday calls, while many who work in NYC come more on weekends and evenings.
What Is A Call?
When someone calls 911 or there is an automatic alarm, volunteers are dispatched by the County through pagers and the siren on the firehouse. Volunteers decide if they can answer the call and report to the fire house for duty. Automatic alarms that prove to be false take about 1/2 an hour. An MVA (motor vehicle accident) or ambulance call could take about 1 to 2 hours. A structure fire or other serious incident could take 3 to 4 hours depending on the severity.
What can I do?
Most men and women who join are surprised at their capacity to learn new skills. Eventually you will find your niche, your comfort zone, for those tasks that help in an emergency. At a fire scene, an MVA, or an ambulance call there is plenty of work to be done that does not involve going into a burning building, extricating a victim from a crushed automobile, or give emergency life safety care. But you can do that too!
What Kind of Training Do I need?
We provide the training you will need at our monthly drills. As you work with us, you will see what skills you gain and what duties you might have on the scene. There is a Firefighter Course that is given at the County’s Fire Training Center in Valhalla which you will need to complete before you can be considered an “interior” firefighter. This course can be taken during evenings or during the daytime. They also offer many other courses that will expand your firefighter skills and safety. There is an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) course if that is your interest.
What Else Should I Know?
Aside from the main benefit of helping your community, you will work with some of the finest people in the village, from all walks of life. While there is no pay, there are benefits include dinners, parades and picnics thrown by the Department and each Company. Plus, volunteers get some tax benefits, recreation passes, a modest retirement fund and there is a special insurance benefit.