Greetings fellow Cottekillians,
Like most rural communities, the hamlet of Cottekill is protected against fires and other emergencies, by an all volunteer fire department. What exactly does that mean? The simple answer is none of us are paid to respond to the community's calls for help.
So how does this work? There is a governing board of fire commissioners that establishes and maintains an operating budget. This budget is funded through taxes to provide the fire trucks, personal protective equipment, and firefighting & rescue tools. It also pays for keeping the lights on, maintaining the fire trucks, the building, and the property. What it does not provide are salaries of any sort.
So where do the firefighters come from? They come from the community. Your neighbors take time to volunteer so that you have a fire department. There is a steady decline in the volunteer fire service all across the U.S., and Cottekill is no exception. Our current roster is 11 active members. To provide the level of service each of you deserve, we need more members. In Colonial times, every household was required to have a bucket. The basic premise behind this is if your neighbor has a fire you were expected to come help put it out. In return if you ever had a fire, your neighbors would be there for you. The idea of neighbors helping neighbors is still the way things are done today. However now there is no longer a law mandating participation; but when only a handful of people volunteer, the community does not get the service they expect or deserve. The more members we have, the better the service we can provide while spreading the load more manageably amongst the membership.
In closing I urge each and everyone of you, to seriously consider finding time to volunteer, because we need you and you, the community, needs you.
Brad Fiore - Fire Chief