The Town of Colonie has long and storied history of volunteer firefighting that dates back to 1931 when The Village Board of Colonie approved a volunteer Fire Department.
Comprising 60 active members, the department, under the name of Killian Van Rensselaer Fire Company, fought fires locally using one piece of equipment — a 600-gallon Ahrens Fox Pumper, ordered by the Board at a cost of $6,700.
From the 1940s to the 1960s, the company not only continued to expand its member base, but also add new equipment, including new squad cars, pumpers, heavy rescue trucks, fire prevention equipment, as well as ambulances capable of furnishing the latest pre-hospital care to community members in need.
Between 1970-2000, the Town of Colonie gained national prominence for its fire mitigation expertise. Volunteer firefighters from across the country traveled to Upstate New York for an annual conference to learn about the latest fire protection systems, evacuation considerations, and building construction regulations for fire safety.
In recen</a></h3>t years, tougher training requirements, longer commute times, the pressure to have two-income households, family youth sports commitments, and restrictions on workers leaving during the workday, have led to a national shortage in volunteer firefighting recruits. New York state, which had 140,000 15 years ago, now has 96,000, according to a recent USA Today article.
This national/statewide struggle to recruit and retain firefighters has also been felt here in the Town of Colonie.
In a proactive move, our 12 departments have banded together to recruit and retain the next generation of highly skilled volunteer firefighters to fill a variety of volunteer positions.
As we look to the future, our hope is to use this comprehensive portal to educate and recruit brave men and women about the opportunities that exist to receive extensive training and instruction on the latest fire fighting techniques so that they too may serve their fellow neighbors.