The East Aurora Fire Department (EAFD) is a 100% volunteer organization of 53 active firefighters, 30 auxiliary, and 57 exempt, or retired members. Since 1870 the EAFD has been serving its family, friends, and neighbors in the Village of East Aurora and a portion of the Town of Aurora. Active membership is open to any man or woman eighteen years of age or older who passes a Department funded physical examination.
In the early years there were four independent fire companies, each organized to meet the needs of small clusters of area residents. In Willink, the village in the area of the Circle, The Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company and the Cazenovia Hose Company were jointly housed as the West End Association in the restored building currently occupied by Willink Financial. The Chemical Engine Company, housed in the building at the corner of Elm and Oakwood Avenue, protected the industrial district in that area. The Chemical Engine building has also been restored and is now occupied by Flowers by Nature. The East End Company was housed in a building on Olean near Main Street that is no longer standing.
As the early villages grew together to form what is now East Aurora, the four fire companies grew together as well. In 1954 they were formally joined in the Oakwood Central Fire Station at the foot of Paine Street on Oakwood. Each of the original fire companies retains its identity, but they operate as one Department for training, funding, standardized equipment, and response operations. Today, as of August 2015, the fire department operates out of it's new Central Fire Station on Center Street between Main and Oakwood.
The first firefighters who arrive at the hall when alerted of an emergency leave on the first truck that is ready to roll. Each firefighter carries a personal pager to help them respond any time there is a need. The combined Department elects a Department Chief, and each company elects a Company Chief (Assistant Department Chief). These officers govern the response operations of the Department. The membership also elects representatives to the Fire Council that governs the administrative affairs of the Department.
East End Active Hose, Chemical Engine Company, and Cazenovia Hose Company each operates a line pumper with full compliments of hose. Each apparatus carries 1000 gallons of water and a pump capable of 1250 to 1500 gallons per minute of output. The primary role of these companies is to deliver water to the fire, hook up to a hydrant, lay hand lines to the scene, enter the building and extinguish the fire. The Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company operates a ladder-tower with a 1250 gpm pump and a heavy rescue truck to support fire ground operations. The primary role of this company is to put ladders to the building, or raise the tower, ventilate the building, and perform rescue.
In the modern EAFD, members of all companies share the groundwork at emergencies while retaining the responsibility for operating their respective apparatuses. All members jointly operate a MIDI Pumper, a smaller piece of apparatus purchased to take the workload off of the more expensive line pumpers. The Department also houses a commercial Paramedic Ambulance Company to partner with the EAFD during critical medical emergencies, assuring the East Aurora residents of the finest emergency medical care available.
The seven line vehicles have a value of approximately $1.75 million with an additional $225,000 worth of deployable equipment. The 53 firefighters are each equipped with the latest version of personal protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus all valued at upwards of $3,300 each. Together with the Central Fire Station the Department has $2.5 M in assets.
The EAFD responds to about 500 calls for assistance each year. There are approximately 100 alarms of fire, 75 auto accidents, and 325 medical emergencies. Of course these calls occur on any day at any time. When a resident calls 911 the dispatcher transmits the alert tone, nature of the emergency, and location to each firefighter on the personal pager. When appropriate the district's fire siren is also sounded if the emergency is deemed large enough.
The membership enjoy a common bond of helping friends and neighbors at a time when their lives hang in the balance due to fire, automobile accident, hazardous materials incident, or medical emergency. It has been said that you can easily recognize a first responder; they are the ones running toward what everyone else is running from. But they do it safely and professionally. The Department is regulated by the US OSHA regulations to ensure that procedures, equipment, and training are all in place to assure firefighter safety. The EAFD has experienced no lost time injury in over 14 years.
The Department membership is required to develop mastery of the necessary skills and knowledge. However, training courses are offered regularly, and most members complete the training over a period of years. Each member must attend a minimum of twelve additional hours of Department training each year in addition to the basic requirement of 10% of the responses, or about 20 calls per year. The attendance requirements are not difficult, and most members have no trouble meeting them.
If you are considering joining the Department view the Join Us! page of this web site. On the site you may fill out the online form or download application forms and the New Member Guide. You should also feel free to stop at the Central Fire Station anytime to meet members there. It is important that you get your questions answered before you apply.