Who Volunteers?  And Why?

Our members come from a wide range of backgrounds and areas of skills and experience.  Name a trade, profession or calling and the likelihood is we have, have had, or will have one as a member.  The common thread of our department members is a commitment to serve others and the community by giving of our time, effort, and special skills, particularly at a time of unexpected need.  To adapt from another service organization, we practice "Service beyond self!"

All our members have personal lives and families, jobs and careers, other priorities and interests outside the department.  Our department greatly values whatever background, interest, time, effort, and experience members can contribute.  For more information or to apply, click on the adjacent "Membership Categories" and "How to Apply". 

Hall of Fame 2024 - EMS Standby Sign-Ups

Do you enjoy baseball?  Are you interested in event medicine?  Cooperstown Fire Department Emergency Squad is actively recruiting NYS certified EMS providers to assist with even coverage for the East-West Classic and for Induction Weekend

Sign up using the forms below:


Real Experience

Our fire department is busy, offering great potential for on the job learning. Averaging over 200 fire calls per year, Cooperstown is the busiest volunteer fire department in Otsego County. Many of our members have gone on to college programs in firefighting and emergency medical services, taking with them a strong knowledge base that can only be learned on real emergency calls.

Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP)

Active members of the department are eligible to participate in the Length of Service Awards Program, or LOSAP. This program, underwritten by the Village of Cooperstown, rewards years of active service with monthly benefits after retirement. Members earn credit for many different activities, and each earned year of active participation increases retirement benefits. Note: this benefit is available to EMS, Fire/Rescue, and Fire Police members, but not to Fire Corps participants.

Health Assessments

Department members are required to complete regular physical exams and respirator testing. There is no cost for these exams, and they are provided locally several times each year.

Social Events

Annual events include parades, a Mid-Winter Banquet, golf and bowling groups, a Summer clambake and Winter Children's Christmas Party. Most events are free to members.  Formal parade uniforms and accessories are provided free of charge to active participating members.

What You Need

Whether Fire/Rescue, EMS or Fire Police, any gear or training you need to do the job is provided at no cost to you.   Don't feel like you have to spend vast sums of money, have advanced certifications, or limitless time and energy to make it worth reaching out.  Every bit helps.   


Depending on interests, each member must obtain training in at least one of the specialty areas the department provides: Firefighting, Emergency Medical Services, or Fire Police. Additional levels of training in the specialties are available, as well as special skills and courses in Hazardous Materials Response, Vehicle Operations, Search and Rescue as well as others. Members can also choose to train in additional specialties.  Where training is required, the department provides or arranges through the county or state.  Much of basic instruction is provided online and can be accomplished at home as time as available.  Most training is acquired over time as it becomes available.


Appropriate firefighting attire and equipment is provided based on chosen specialty, and is maintained regularly at the department's expense. You don't need to own or purchase any additional equipment on your own.

Membership Categories

Membership is broken into four primary categories:

Fire and Rescue

Firefighters provide fire protection, search and rescue, vehicle extrication, and rescue services, among many other 'All Hazards' emergencies. Firefighters provide these services on roadways, in the field, and on the waterways in and around Cooperstown, as well as providing mutual aid assistance to neighboring communities. In addition to providing fire protection, members may receive specialized training in water rescue, dive or ice rescue, wildland search, rope rescue and other topics. Most training is provided to members free of charge.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

The Cooperstown Emergency Squad provides emergent pre-hospital care, lift assists, and rapid transport for those experiencing health issues. Members receive free training, either in-house or through the Otsego County Office of Emergency Services. CPR training is the minimum level required to assist on ambulance calls, while many members go on to seek training as certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) at the basic, advanced, and paramedic levels of care. Each level of training builds on the last, and squad members have each spent many hours of their own time to reach their current level of state certification.

Fire Police

Members of the Department that provide traffic control and security at emergency scenes and Department events are part of the Fire Police. Fire Police members receive specialized training, and are sworn peace officers of NY State when activated.

Fire Corps

Community members who are interested in helping their community, but for various reasons choose not to work in one of the above categories of membership, may choose to join the Fire Corps section of the department. Fire Corps members provide administrative support, record keeping, fundraising, and other support services to the department without responding to emergency scenes. 

Fire Corps members are encouraged to assist as we regularly conduct inventories, manage finances, perform equipment/vehicle maintenance, coordinate events/outreach with the community, host fundraisers, and help to manage our website

How to Apply

If you're interested in becoming a member of our department, welcome! We'll be happy to walk you through the application process and look forward to hearing from you.