Services provided by the Vestal Volunteer Fire Department include not only extinguishing structure, vehicle, and other fires, but also responding to rescues, motor vehicle extrications, water rescue calls, as well as responding to fire alarms, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, wires down, hazardous materials incidents, and other emergencies and calls for assistance or service within the Town of Vestal, and mutual aid calls for assistance from our surrounding communities.
In addition to mandated New York State Training Courses to initially become a firefighter, additional specialized New York State Fire and Rescue Training Courses provide detailed training to our members. Members also train in-house weekly on various topics related to our duties, including hands-on training at the Fred W. Singer Training Facility, a 501c3 non-profit facility owned and operated by the Vestal Fire Department, and utilized by member and non-member area fire departments. The Fred W. Singer Training Facility includes a 2-story concrete block burn building, a 2-story wood frame search building, including a maze and search challenges, a roof simulator, an enclosed classroom facility, and a pump test tank. Additional training is also conducted for our specialized teams. Specialized teams within our department include a Water Rescue Team, a Command Assistance Team, Fire Police, our Training Division, a Computer Support Team, as well as Apparatus Replacement Committees, Station replacement Committees, and other committees as needed.
2015 Call Breakdown
Call volume of the Vestal Fire Department is shown in the graph below. In addition to responding to emergencies and calls for assistance within the Town, we also respond to fire alarms and emergencies on the SUNY Binghamton University Campus.
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Responses to fire alarms on the SUNY Binghamton University Campus has been reduced through programming of alarm systems allowing single detector activations to be investigated by Campus personnel as a supervisory signal, prior to activation of the Fire Department. Those fire alarms not able to be reprogrammed in this manner are responded to by a single engine company (Engine 32-4), pending notification of a true emergency, which results in a full response by the Vestal Fire Department.
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We are always in need of new volunteers!
We have a job for everyone!
The Vestal Fire Protection District contains the Susquehanna River, which flows along the town's northern border, as well as several large creeks and ponds. In 1996 it was decided to form a team of volunteers who would receive specialized training in dealing with the unique hazards of performing rescues in and near these bodies of water. Hence the Vestal Fire Department's Water Rescue Team was formed.
The team is led under the direction of a Team leader and two assistants appointed by the Vestal Fire Department special operations Chief. It consists of 24 members. 18 Certified swift water technicians, and 6 shore support personnel.
This training takes place the first Sunday of every month and is in addition to the regular weekly training given to all Vestal Fire Department members.
The team responds to all water rescue calls in the Town of Vestal. The majority of water rescue equipment is provided by the two Boat units although a call within the Vestal Fire District could include one of the four zone engines. Each engine carries a first responder kit containing two: Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs), Helmets, and 70' Throw Bags.
OVERVIEW OF THE VFD WATER RESCUE PROGRAM
To promote and maintain the current Vestal Volunteer Fire Department's Water Rescue Program which is a structured attempt at improving the training, equipment, pre-planning, and general knowledge relating to water rescue type incidents within the district.
To provide a structured water rescue response for mutual aid calls to our neighboring departments.
Monthly Training Sessions on the first Sunday (classroom, pool, river, or pond)
Certified Courses offered to members:
- Swift water Rescue Training
- Ice Rescue Technician
- Flood Rescue
- New York State Boat Operators Course
Water Rescue Team also trains in Low Angle Rope Rescue.
PRIMARY RESCUE APPARATUS
Boats receive weekly check sheets & an annual preventive maintenance visit to an authorized dealer
- Emergency Support 3 (ES 32-3) - transports Boat 32-3, 4 wheel drive
- Brush Truck 1 (BRUSH 32-1) - transports Boat 32-1, 4 wheel drive
- RESCUE 32-2 - team support vehicle for shelter, rehab, wet suit/ice suit, dressing room.
- Boat 32-1
- Boat 32-3
- 2 Oceanid Rapid Deployment Crafts
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE AND RESCUE EQUIPMENT
- All Swift Water Rescue Technicians receive Dry Suits
- 5.0mm Wet Suit (top and bottom)
- 5.0mm booties, 3mm gloves, 6.5mm hoods
- Stearns Ice/Cold Water Rescue Suits (with pick-o-lifes and ice screws)
- Personal Flotation Devices - Type III Hi-Float and Type V SwiftWater Ranger w/harness - throughout the district, go with mutual aid calls
- ½" PMI water rescue rope
- Rescue Throw Bags (60' and 70')
- Rescue Helmets
- Body Recovery bag and rescue cargo net
- Standard EMS plastic Backboard
- Search and Rescue (SAR) Vests for Shore Support personnel
New York State’s first use of fire police was in 1839 in New York City. The “Fire Patrol” was to protect the interests of the Fire Underwriters. The Association of Fire Insurance Companies employed 40 men as a fire police force whose duty was a night patrol of the mercantile district of New York City.
In 1952, when the Vestal Fire Department was incorporated, Article 8 of the constitution and by-laws stated that “As provided in Section 209-C of the General Municipal Law and Company By-Laws. Fire Police shall operate under procedure as set up by the Department Advisory Board”.
In 1965, Article 8 grew into 7 sections related to the fire police.
- Section 1, Squad
- Section 2, Membership
- Section 3, Number
- Section 4, Approval of Membership
- Section 5, Captain of Fire Police
- Section 6, Duties
- Section 7, General Municipal Law
In 1965, their duties at this time stated “Duties shall be to act as traffic officers, prevent the hose from being driven over, keep unauthorized persons away from burning buildings or from structures in which fire has been extinguished, guard salvaged goods and see that firemen are not hampered in their work. Such other duties as may be provided by law or that may be applicable to them.”
To act as peace officers keeping unauthorized persons away from emergency scene, see that firefighters are not hampered in performing their duties and controlling traffic at emergencies, and shall operate under the Incident Command System. Such other duties as directed by the incident commander.
- Fire Police Are Firefighters First
- Traffic Control
- Scene Safety
- Scene Security
- Traffic Control
- Scene Safety
- Scene Security
- Be Aware of suspicious activity around the scene
- May be asked to perform Firefighter duties
- Fill Air Bottles
- Set Ladders
- Other misc. duties
- Firefighters and Fire Police mesh as one cohesive unit
- Firefighters wishing to be assigned to the fire police squad in Vestal must be 21 years of age or older
- Members must have successfully completed NYS Firefighter 1 or NYS Scene Support and NYS Fire Police Course
- They shall also take an oath provided in General Municipal Law, Section 209-C
The fire police captain, and the fire police lieutenants in his absence, under the direction and supervision of the fire officers, shall have charge of and direct the activities of the fire department fire police squad, and shall serve as a Fire Advisory Board staff member.
If this is something you feel interested in doing, stop down to one of your local fire stations and inquire. Monday Evenings after 6pm is when all the stations are usually manned for training or meeting night. Or contact the Vestal Fire Department Business Office.
We are always in need of help!
VEHICLESView all Apparatus
2004 Ford 350XL Super Duty
250 Gallon Water Tank
Fire Police and Brush Fire Equipment
2009 Ford F550
250 Gallon Water Tank, Fire Police & Brush Fire Equipment
2005 LaFrance/Tracey Ford
Fire Police Unit - Traffic Arrow, Cones, Winch, Lighting
Utility 32-4 - 2009 F-350 V10 a Traffic Detail equipped vehicle mainly reserved for Fire Police use. It is also equipped with Water packs, axes, and rakes for use as a Brush Fire Vehicle.
Traffic Control Trailer
The Fire Department's Fire Prevention Bureau is staffed by the Fire Marshal, Deputy Fire Marshal, and several fire department members The bureau performs the following functions:
The Fire Marshal represents the fire department at town Planning Board and Code Enforcement assuring all new construction conforms to fire and building codes.
Teaches fire safety classes at public schools, businesses, and other organizations.
Hands out fire safety information at public events.
Works with Broome County fire investigators to determine the cause and origin of fires.
Creates a report on every alarm. These reports must be submitted to New York State every month.
Maintains statistical reports detailing various fire department activities.
Assures that the data carried on the Fire Prevention / Command Post vehicle (CV-32) is up to date. This data contains information on fire preplans, hazardous materials in the town, and recent fire inspections.
Sponsors, sets up, and runs the annual Fire Safety Expo
Education & Fire Safety
The Fire Prevention and Safety Team visits many schools and events throughout Vestal each year teaching Fire Safety and property conservation.
In 2016 alone, the Fire Prevention team will have attended 9 schools, along with 9 other events presenting to over 2235 children in Fire Prevention and Fire Safety.
Call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 321-6033 for any questions.
COMMAND ASSISTANCE TEAM
MISSION of Command Assistance Team (CAT):
The primary mission of CAT is to provide the Incident Commander an organized collection of information, processing of the information and incident factors, and display of information. Provide competent evaluation and rapid dissemination of pertinent tactical information and intelligence to command and control personnel.
The secondary mission of CAT is to provide assistance in specified positions:
- Liaison Officer
- CAT members may be placed into roles supporting general staff positions:
- Staging Officer
- Accountability Officer
Information Handling Functions of CAT
There are five basic information handling functions of Command Assistance team duties:
Gaining Situational Awareness:
- Collecting information from various sources, passive and active.
- Information sources available:
- Incident message traffic - briefings
- Weather Radar and weather forecasts
- Intelligence reports
- Operation plans and orders (Incident Action Plan)
- SOG / SOP
Processing Situational Awareness:
- Elimination of all non-essential data.
- Consists of sorting, inspecting, appraising, and correlating collected information.
- Visual presentation of all incident and operational data used to describe the current tactical and strategic situations.
- Devices utilized to display information:
- Status boards (white boards)
- Televisions / Monitors
- Logs and records
- Accountability Status Boards
- Large display posters for exterior of CV
- Considering and weighing all available information in order to arrive at a decision that may be passed on as a recommendation to command officers.
- Distribution of pertinent information to various officers and other units that may require it.
- May be by audio, visual, or electronic means.
CAT personnel will assume the role of a Tactical Assistance Operator (TAO).
Duties include but not limited to:
- Assists Incident Commander in carrying out assigned duties and responsibilities.
- Responsible to the Incident Commander for conduct and performance of the Command Assistance Team.
- Assigns additional CAT personnel according to support positions and rotates the duties as necessary to maximize training and minimize boredom and fatigue.
- Maintains the Incident Management log – ICS 214
- Monitors tactical information received and informs the Incident Commander of interpretations and requirements for further dissemination to Command Staff.
- Assists in decision making for incident management and in obtaining solutions.
- Ensures electronic equipment in use is properly set up for maximum effectiveness in decision making and maintaining situational awareness.
- Performs operational period briefing of ICS 201 documents, assuring continuity of operations.
- Ensures the incident status profile / diagram is current and accurate.
Typical incident response involving Command Assistance Team
First arriving Officer at the incident initiates actions as the Incident Commander
Seven Critical Tasks of Command:
- Establish COMMAND and Communications
- Establish a HOT ZONE
- Establish an INNER PERIMETER (warm zone)
- Establish an OUTER PERIMETER (cold zone)
- Set up an INCIDENT COMMAND POST (tactical operations center)
- Establish a STAGING AREA (put someone in charge of staging to manage responding resources)
- Evaluate what is needed to gain control, order RESOURCES / request what is needed to support objectives.
Coordinate and provide leadership for first responders:
Provides as size up of the incident, identifies life safety concerns and injury to victims, identifies property damage and critical infrastructure impact
- Decides on a course of action:
- Defensive moving to offensive
- Evaluates need for evacuation
- Requests resources to support operations
The Incident Commander will begin to determine objectives and establish priorities on what action needs to be taken and identify resource needs to support objectives
- Life Safety (ALWAYS)
- Property Conservation
- Protect the Environment
The Incident Commander will need to assign personnel to the command and general staff
- Identify as the Incident Commander (IC)
- Assign a Safety Officer – Public Information Officer – Liaison Officer (SO-PIO-LNO)
- CAT members may act as LNO to support, buffer - filter and pass information to the IC
- Finance – Logistics – Operations – Planning (FLOP) [as needed - scalable]
- CAT members may be placed into roles supporting general staff positions
- Operations Section – identify Section Chiefs
- Establish Divisions – (geographic) identify a Supervisor
- Establish Groups – identify a Supervisor
- Assign Single resource – (individual / unit)
- Assign Task Force – (mixed type) identify leader
- Assign Strike Team – (similar type) identify leader
Command Assistance Team members duties at the Incident Command Post:
- Meet with the IC and identify as CAT32 member.
- Receive briefing and provide support to the IC.
- Set up CV32 radios – Dispatch - Operations – Tactical – Mutual Aid
- Motorola Radios:
- Radio 1 VHF high band: set to Dispatch Western Broome 1
- Radio 3 VHF high band: set to Fire Ground 2 (Vestal Operations)
- Radio 5 VHF high band: set to the assisting agency option (Police, EMS, Fire Police, DEC)
- Radio 2 VHF low band: Broome Co. low band Ch. 1 or operations channel
- Radio 4 UHF band: set to UHF channel as needed
- Radio 6 VHF low band: set to Tioga Co. low band Ch. 1 or Ch. 2
- Kenwood Radio: set to channel as needed and/or Special Ops 9 – (consider GPS tracking if needed)
- Documentation – ICS 214 (Activity Log) and 201 (Incident Briefing) forms
- Situation Status
- Incident name / number if known
- Date and time of incident:
- Address and sketch layout:
- Primary situation encountered:
- Priorities set by IC
- Secondary situation encountered:
- Priorities set by IC
- Resources supporting incident:
- Initial response units
- Mutual Aid response units
- IC notes / comments:
- Post strategic and tactical information that may be needed to convey to others
- Incident Organization: IC-F-L-O-P
- Resource tracking:
- Initial response units
- Organize resource tracking / sign in / accountability process
- Staging units
- Special Teams
- Station coverage
The objective of this organization is to aid and assist the firefighters at any time, to assist the community in any emergency, in general to better the community.
We have 2 Auxiliaries in Vestal:
Station #2 located in South Vestal, Vestal Center area
Station #3 located in West Vestal, Ross Corners area
We host various events during the year from Bake Sales, to Spaghetti Dinners to Breakfast w/Santa. We participate with various training's, Recruitment Day and the Fire Departments annual Fire Expo.
We as a whole support our firefighters, support staff and our community in a time of need, from hydration to preparing food, to lending a shoulder or an ear or just giving a hug.
We are always looking for members.
If you’re interested in helping in your community please contact:
- Station #2 President
- Station #3 President
If interested, you may also stop by one of our meetings at our stations:
- Station 2 meets on the 2nd Tues. from September thru May
- Station 3 meets on the 2nd Tues. from September thru June