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Become a Volunteer Firefighter

Volunteer firefighters are part of a tradition and legacy of neighbors helping neighbors. When you are part of the volunteer fire service, you help protect the lives and property of your family, friends, and neighbors. Whether you're on the fireground, at the scene of an accident, or at the station, there are plenty of ways you can volunteer with your local fire department. 

There will always be a need for people who care, who help, and who heal. Will you answer the call?

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Ways to Volunteer

EMT/Certified First Responder
Fire Police
Scene Support

Firefighters entering fire

Answer the Call!

Most Schenectady County residents rely on their local volunteer fire department in times of crisis, and our county's volunteer firefighters are always there to help. Whether you're fighting a fire, responding to the scene of an accident, or helping your community through a state of emergency, you can make a difference.

When you join the volunteer fire service you save lives, help others, learn new skills, and become a leader in your community.


What do volunteer firefighters do?

Volunteer firefighters are the primary emergency responders for most neighborhoods in Schenectady County. Volunteers respond to fire alarms, rescue and medical calls at different levels. Local firefighters also help their communities through environmental and natural disasters. In addition to responding to emergency calls, volunteer firefighters help pump water from flooded basements, check smoke detectors, and respond to Carbon Monoxide & natural gas leaks. Not all volunteers fight fires, some departments need volunteers to respond to emergency medical calls, provide on-scene support, or protect firefighters and equipment operating at the emergency scene. Volunteer firefighters host community events and teach their neighbors about fire safety and how to be prepared during an emergency. 

Where can I volunteer?

Volunteer firefighters are part of a unique team and family that is a core of the community. Your neighborhood needs your help.  It's best to volunteer with a department that serves your neighborhood. Many towns have multiple departments that are designed to meet the needs of your community. We encourage you to reach out to your local fire department and learn more about the different volunteer roles they offer.

Here is a complete list of Fire Departments in Schenectady County

City of Schenectady

  • Schenectady Fire Department - Career

Town of Duanesburg

  • Delanson Fire Department - Volunteer
  • Duanesburg Fire Department - Volunteer
  • Mariaville Fire Department - Volunteer
  • Quaker Street Fire Department - Volunteer

Town of Glenville

  • Alplaus Fire Department - Volunteer
  • Beukendaal Fire Department - Volunteer
  • East Glenville Fire Department - Volunteer
  • Glenville Hills Fire Department - Volunteer
  • Thomas Corners Fire Department - Volunteer
  • West Glenville Fire Department - Volunteer

Town of Niskayuna

  • Niskayuna Fire District #1 - Career & Volunteer
  • Niskayuna Fire District #2 - Volunteer
  • Stanford Heights Fire Department - Volunteer

Town of Rotterdam

  • Carmen Fire Department - Volunteer
  • Pattersonville Fire Department - Volunteer
  • Pine Grove Fire Department - Volunteer
  • Plotterkill Fire Department - Volunteer
  • Rotterdam District 2 Fire Department - Volunteer
  • Rotterdam Junction Fire Department - Volunteer
  • Schonowee Fire Department - Volunteer
  • South Schenectady Fire Department - Volunteer

Village of Scotia

  • Scotia Fire Department - Career & Volunteer
How do I become a volunteer firefighter?

Contact your local fire department, ask questions, and talk with your family about answering the call to become a volunteer firefighter, EMT, or certified first responder. It is a rewarding commitment.  Most departments require you to:

  1. Fill out an application
  2. Interview with members of the fire department
  3. Undergo a basic background check. 

Fill out the Schenectady County Volunteer Firefighter Interest Form and we will forward your information to your neighborhood's fire chief. Once you are accepted into the volunteer fire service your department will provide you with all the professional training and equipment you need to be a safe and successful. 

Firefighter training on car extraction  female firefighter fixing equipment Smiling Firefighters

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What benefits are available to volunteer firefighters?

Local Benefits

Volunteering with your local fire department is the ultimate form of community service.  Beyond the satisfaction of helping your neighbors and saving lives, the volunteer fire service offers a host of tangible benefits. Local fire departments provide ongoing training, equipment, and other local benefits to their volunteer firefighters. Some fire districts offer service pensions.  Check with your local fire department for a list of benefits offered to volunteer firefighters.

Training & Education

All firefighters, whether they're career or volunteer, follow the same standards. You'll receive free professional training in basic exterior firefighting with the option to become a trained interior firefighter. Your department and Schenectady County provide free educational opportunities to enhance your knowledge and experience in firefighting and emergency medical services. Most importantly, you'll learn real-world leadership skills that easily transfer into your career.

If you are interested in becoming an EMT or Certified First Responder, a support volunteer, or member of the Fire Police, contact your local department for training requirements and expectations. 

Length of Service Award Program

Length of Service Award Program,  in general, it is a plan that provides payment to an individual who performs certain qualified services. Those qualified services are firefighting and fire prevention services, emergency medical services, and ambulance services. Most LOSAPs are designed like simple retirement plans, where the benefits become payable at a certain age, but a LOSAP could be designed to pay benefits after a certain length of time, regardless of age.

Property Tax Credit

Volunteer fire service members and ambulance workers can apply for a county property tax exemption for 10% of the total value of their primary residence. Volunteers with a minimum of 2 years of service can download the form online and file it with their local tax assessor. 

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Tuition Assistance and Reimbursement

The Fire Association of the State of New York  (FASNY) developed "FASNY HELP." Through FASNY HELP, student-volunteers are eligible to have up to 100% of their tuition reimbursed in exchange for maintaining defined grades and fulfilling established service requirements in one of New York's volunteer companies.  A single semester tuition award does not exceed $1500. There is no restriction on the type of academic course(s) the student-volunteer can pursue.  Student volunteers must be an active volunteer firefighter in good standing and re-apply each semester.

Free EMT/CFR Books

Schenectady County offers free books for Emergency Medical Technician and Certified First Responder courses at SUNY Schenectady.

County-wide Awards & Service Recognition

Schenectady County recognizes Volunteer Firefighters and EMS personnel each year with awards for dedicated service to the county and their fire department. 

Free Access to County Farm

Volunteer Firefighters in Schenectady County enjoy free access to the county farm located on Hetcheltown Road in the Town of Glenville. 

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