Cortland Fire Department

Cortland Fire Department

Posted by  //  May 2, 2023  //  News

Before the official Cortland Fire Department was established in 1854, homeowners were responsible for ensuring the communities safety. In 1830 the “Randall Tub” , the department’s first piece of fire apparatus, was purchased by the Randall family. The Cortland Fire Department was originally composed of firefighting companies. The Waterwitch Steamer and Hose Company #1 was officially formed through a merging of the Water Witch Fire Company and the  Water Witch Hose Company. During this time, other firefighting companies formed including Orris Hose Company #2, Excelsior Hook and Ladder Company #3, Emerald Hose Company #4 and Hitchcock Hose Company #6. The various companies of the Cortland Fire Department were well represented at state and national fire competitions and also very successful in these competitions. Prior to 1914, the volunteer companies were located in various parts of the city. With a new Central Fire Station built in 1914 all the companies moved to 21 Court street, in the downtown area of the City. This also represented the change from horse drawn apparatus to motorized apparatus. This building is still in use today serving as the headquarters fire station where all the administrative offices and a majority of operations occur. Fire Headquarters is on the National Register of Historic Places. The City has received significant grant funding to maintain the beauty and ability to continue to use the building as a fire station nearly 110 years later. 

While the members of the department cannot predict the outcome of every day, training has become a ritual to maintain and shield against danger. The department responds to over 3000 calls annually and is constantly honing skills and making ready all the apparatus and equipment. The mission of the department has changed from a “fire suppression” organization to an “all-hazards” response agency encompassing Emergency Medical response, Hazardous Materials, rope rescue, confined space and water rescue. The department is also responsible for Code Enforcement and fire safety inspections within the City. The department also provides a number of outreach programs relating to fire safety education, CPR and First Aid Training, fire extinguisher training and public relation events including Firefighter for a Day Camp, Chester the Covid Bunny and Here comes Santa. With 39 career firefighters and 25 volunteers, the Cortland Fire Department is committed and dedicated to the community.

Accordingly, the department is always looking for volunteer firefighters. If you are looking for an exciting way to give back to the community, volunteering may be an option for you. The department provides an annual physical, training, equipment and a Length of Service retirement option to volunteer members. Pursuing a career as a firefighter is equally as rewarding. Great benefits and the enjoyment of serving your community everyday are just a few reasons people become career firefighters. Finally, the Cortland Fire Station is a distinguished place that has supported the community for over one hundred and fifty years and continues to strive for excellence.

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