I joined in June of 2001 when some friends of mine who were in the department asked me if I would like to share a house with them in the district. I had been a firefighter and Captain in the Newfield Fire Company for almost 10 years and had been working at Bangs Ambulance as a Paramedic for 3 years and thought that this would be a good move. It was a fantastic decision and I have gotten so much from this department, including a wife! This has really been one of those life choices you can look back on and say "that changed everything!"
The one recommendation that I can make to any member, new or old, in any department, is to train constantly and keep your head on straight. The camaraderie that comes from the training, responding and healthy interaction with fellow members is invaluable and something that you will carry through your life.
My favorite thing about the department are the members. We have a core group of resident members and a large number of transient members. It keeps the department fresh! Everybody in the department from the officers to the senior firefighters to the probationary members get along and work together. It is hard work but with the positive attitude from every member it stays fresh.
My favorite piece of equipment is the volunteer firefighter. Without this dedicated person the department does not work. This person who gives up countless hours of personal and family time to respond to calls and train day or night in any weather without complaint or reimbursement. The volunteer firefighter does it for the community and their own personal satisfaction.
I am a residential property manager for Ithaca Renting Company. My office manages properties in Collegetown, with housing for more than 600 Cornell students.
My husband Joe and I met while undergrads at Cornell, and then we ended up staying in the area.
About six years ago, we met a fellow alum, Jeff Hardgrove, at a Cornell function. He had a gigantic pager attached to his belt,
and I was curious about it. We started talking, Jeff told us all about his involvement in the fire department: it sounded like a lot of fun.
There just happened to be a recruit class forming shortly, so I decided to sign up right after meeting Jeff.
Joe indulged my whim and agreed to join with me, and he is now an assistant chief here.
Joining CHFD was one of the best decisions we ever made!
I had never in my life had any aspirations of being a firefighter until the afternoon I met Jeff and heard about CHFD, but we were living in Cayuga Heights and I thought this would be a great way to give back to the community and be more involved. It was something totally different, like nothing I had ever tried, and I was excited about a new challenge for myself.
The people for sure!! Other members of the department have become some of our best friends. A few of us even had our children at the same time, which has been fantastic. It's so great to have such a family-friendly atmosphere. Even though we now have two small children, we are able to stay just as involved. The kids love to go and spend time there too.
We have so many great tools, but as the Rescue Director I better pick something EMS-related: our LifePak 15 monitor/ defibrillator. It is a life-saving piece of equipment for our most critical medical emergencies.
I'm a recent Cornell graduate (in Entomology) working maintenance at the moment!
A friend of mine passed away in a bad fire, and I want help prevent that from happening to anyone else.
I ran a Google search for volunteer departments in Ithaca. Found CHFD and liked it because of the student population, location, higher volunteerism, and receptive members.
It has turned out to be so much more than just a fire department to me. I've made friends across the state taking classes, and have formed some bonds that I know will stay with me throughout my life, whether I stay here in Ithaca or move to Norway. The people here are my family, I went to classes and did homework with them, I train with them, I live with them. The dynamic of people is really amazing and there are always new people to meet. And when I thought that this would be something I could get into I had no idea that I was diving into something as deep as I am. I've learned more in two years here than I have in my four years of college (or five if you count grad school). Not just putting water on fire and pulling people out. EMT, technical rescue situations, car accidents, a lot about leadership, the list goes on.
Rope. It doesn't sound so useful at first but there's so much you can do with rope it's just unbelievable. I've really gotten into the technical rescue side of the trade and I think that's my niche. I kept a piece of rope in my backpack throughout my Cornell classes ever since Firefighter 1 just to tie knots and fiddle with during class when I was bored.
I'm a Computer Science major at Cornell
For the great facebook cover photos. Just kidding. I wanted to do something meaningful and build a bond with the local community while at college.
I was taking the TCAT as a freshman, and saw the sign outside the station, stating that CHFD was looking for new recruits. So I walked in. It's the best on the spot decision I've made.
The friendships and witty banter. The late night standby conversations and the wisdom experienced members impart. I am not exaggerating when I say that CHFD is a home away from home.
The halligan. It's a very versatile and unique tool.