2017-04-26 / Front Page

Fire In Your Heart? Open Houses This Weekend for Local Fire Companies

By Virginia Califano


Tommy Germano and Steve Smith of the Cold Spring Fire Company invite all with interest to come to their open house on Sunday. 
Virginia Califano Tommy Germano and Steve Smith of the Cold Spring Fire Company invite all with interest to come to their open house on Sunday. Virginia Califano The Cold Spring Fire Company has a question for the members of the community: is there a fire in you? In conjunction with Recruit NY, the Cold Spring company is one of seven fire companies across Putnam holding open houses this weekend. On Sunday from 12-4pm, members will be on hand to answer all questions, and to shed some light on what it takes to be a firefighter.

This marks Cold Spring’s second year taking part in Recruit NY, a statewide campaign to foster community interest and garner more firefighters. Steve Smith, in his second year as Chief of the Cold Spring Fire Company, invites anyone with interest or questions on the firefighting life to come out on Sunday.

At the open house, Smith and others will conduct vehicle extrication demonstrations, and share mountain rescue techniques. Fire equipment will be on display for viewers to observe and discuss. They will also learn about the expenses that go into maintaining the fire company - a group that operates through a volunteer basis in Cold Spring. A full set of turnout gear costs $3,600 - just for one person. Every ten years, these suits need to be replaced.


An open house banner hangs at the Cold Spring Fire Department. 
Douglas Cunningham An open house banner hangs at the Cold Spring Fire Department. Douglas Cunningham Cold Spring currently has about 40 active volunteer members, which is not many, considering “everyone has a life and a full time job,” Smith said.

The fire company can serve as a second family to its members, and everyone is welcome to join if they have the drive and desire.

“We have members between ages 17 and 75,” Smith said. They will take children age 16, but parents, don’t worry - they are not allowed to be in a burning building until age 18. They can, however, scope out the structures after the threat is gone. “That’s how the kids learn,” Smith said.

If you are considering joining, but are apprehensive about full-fledged firefighting, there is no need to fear. There is a role for everyone.

“Would it scare you to go out in the woods and spray water on a fire, or rake leaves, or hike a mountain to rescue somebody, or direct traffic on a road closure? It’s not just about putting out fires. There’s plenty of things we have to take care of and deal with. You can help in many ways,” Smith explained.

The most important trait Smith and company are looking for is character.

“It’s in the person whether or not you want to truly volunteer and help others. Not everyone has that in their heart or soul to help strangers at the drop of a dime,” Smith said. “It’s a special person who does that.”

The Cold Spring Fire Company’s open house is on Sunday, April 30 from 12-4pm at the firehouse at 152 Main Street. Brewster, Continental Village, Garrison, Kent, and Lake Carmel fire departments will hold their open houses on Sunday also, while Patterson's will be on Saturday. For more information, visit http:// www.recruitny.org/.

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