Ticonderoga Volunteer Fire Department: Serving the Community 143 Years and Counting!

Ticonderoga Volunteer Fire Department: Serving the Community 143 Years and Counting!

In 2014, The New York Times wrote an article, “The Disappearing Volunteer Firefighter,” a disheartening, yet accurate account of the dwindling number of volunteer firemen across the country. However, you wouldn’t know it at the Ticonderoga Volunteer Fire Department, where for 143 years, the residents of this small upstate New York community have made volunteering not just about saving lives and property, but about bringing the community together and serving as a societal civic and social gathering place for meetings, luncheons, clubs, and of course – bingo!

In fact, fire emergencies make up only a fraction of the incidents Ti firefighters encounter. Ticonderoga Fire Chief Matt Watts tells Ticonderoga360.com that the Ticonderoga Volunteer Fire Department responds to approximately 200-250 calls per year, including:

  • Structure fires
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Carbon Monoxide alarms
  • Commercial fire alarms
  • Flooded basements
  • EMS Assists

…and pretty much anything else you can think of. “If they don’t know who to call, they call us and we either provide the service, or help them find someone who can,” Watts says.

The department consists of 50 regular members and 6 junior members (14-17 year olds). Ticonderoga volunteer firefighters offer fire safety and prevention training in the schools and attend events where children can experience first-hand the shiny and complex inner-workings of a firetruck! No, the responsibilities of a volunteer fireman don’t end when a fire is out. Organizing parades, benefits, and of course, decorating the town for Christmas, are just a few more of the tasks allocated and embraced by the Ticonderoga Volunteer Fire Department.

And let’s not forget the lovely ladies of the Ticonderoga Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary! They play an essential role in raising money for the purchasing of new equipment, planning and organizing fire department events, and ensuring the firefighters have plenty of food and drinks to stay nourished and hydrated during long emergency calls. The biggest Ticonderoga Ladies Auxiliary event of the year? The Annual Ticonderoga Ladies Auxiliary Basket Party, a raffle held the first week of August (this year 300 baskets were donated and over $4,000 was raised!).

Today, the department has 8 pieces of equipment, including:

  • ER 331 – 2015 Engine Rescue that carries 1000 gallons of water and carries all of our Vehicle Extrication Equipment, including Holmatro Hydraulic Recuse tools as well as Air Lift Bags.
  • ETA 332:  1992 Engine/Tanker that carries 1500 gallons of water.
  • ETA 333:  2005 Engine/Tanker that carries 3000 gallons of water.
  • Brush 334:  2016 Mini Pumper; carries 300 gallons of water.
  • Tower 336:  2005 100-foot Aerial Platform Truck that is used for tall buildings as well as residential fires, it also carries a full set of Holmatro rescue tools.
  • Utility 337:  2009 Chevy Pickup used for carrying wildland fire equipment, pumps for cellar pump outs, and towing the Rescue Boat.
  • Utility 337-1:  2001 Bus used to carry additional members to scenes, as well as a place to rehab during large fires. This apparatus can be used by auxiliary to serve refreshments.
  • Boat 1:  Deck Boat that can be used for water rescues, as well as using portable pumps and hose for fires on or along waterways.

Ticonderoga Volunteer Fire Department Events:

ti hall of fameFriday, April 22nd:  Grand Reopening of Ticonderoga Fire Department Museum

Saturday, April 23rd: Open House for Recruit NY! Located at the Ti Firehouse from 10am – 2pm. Come out for live demonstrations and refreshments. Always looking for new recruits and applications will be on hand for firefighters and those interested in the Ticonderoga Ladies Auxiliary.

Every Thursday Night:  Bingo! Potential Jack Pot Game of up to $1000.00. Doors open at 5:00pm; games start at 6:45pm.

Also, beginning Sunday, April 24th until Labor Day, the Ticonderoga Fire Department Museum will be open on Thursdays 1–5pm and Sundays 1–5pm. This department has a rich history, dating back 143 years ago, when three departments — the Defiance Hook & Ladder, the Defiance Hose and the W.W. Jeffers Hose — provided Ticonderoga NY emergency services before consolidating into one department in 1991. On display will be a hose cart from the 1800’s, a firetruck from 1921, a 1950’s jukebox from one of the old firehouses, and much more!


For more than a century, the Ticonderoga Volunteer Fire Department has served as a vital component of this close-knit village. They don’t do it for the money or the glamor, but because of a strong desire to help the community where they live and the people they love.

Interested in becoming a Ticonderoga volunteer firefighter or Ladies Auxiliary member? Check out the Open House on Saturday, April 23rd, or call (518) 585-7771. 





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