FAQ’s

Are all Latham Fire Department members volunteers?

The vast majority of our members are unpaid volunteers including the Chief and all line officers. We also have a staff of paid firefighters scheduled during the day time on weekdays to supplement response.

What types of incidents does the fire company respond to?

We respond to structure fires, vehicle fires, brush and trash fires, motor vehicle accidents, hazardous materials incidents, as well as carbon monoxide and fire alarm activations.
We also operate an EMS unit, EMS 4.

How many calls does the company get?

We average 600-800 fire calls per year.

Is the company looking for more volunteers?

Yes! We are always seeking new men and women to join the ranks of our current members either as interior or exterior firefighters or scene support individuals.

Why should I join, what's in it for me?

If you like adventure, camaraderie,the satisfaction of getting the job done and helping those in need, you might be the type of person we’re looking for. You’ll get specialized training and become part of an outstanding organization of men and women who share a common bond — the volunteer spirit to help those who need it most. In addition to the satisfaction of giving back to your community, there is also a NYS tax credit for volunteer firefighters, a Service Award Program and other benefits.

What is the time commitment?

We realize that people are busier than ever nowadays. New members do have to put in a significant amount of time for training, but the time commitment is less demanding after completing the preliminary training. Members do not have scheduled shifts, but are notified by pager when there is a call and can choose to respond if they are available.

What type of person joins the volunteer fire department?

Our members come from all walks of life. We have men and women, high school and
college students, single people, husbands and wives, parents, and even grandparents. We have professionals, business owners, and”blue collar guys.”

What are the requirements to be a Latham Fire Department firefighter?

You must be at least 18 years of age, of good moral character, pass a Latham Fire Department physical and be physically capable of performing the duties of a firefighter. Young people 16-18 can join as restricted members.

Is being a firefighter dangerous?

Yes, being a firefighter can be dangerous. Our job is to go into emergency situations while others are trying to escape. There can be many hazards on an emergency scene and you will be exerting yourself performing heavy manual labor. However, we provide the best available equipment and gear for each firefighter to minimize the risk of harm. In addition,the extensive training you receive will make you well qualified to perform the duties of a firefighter and keep yourself and others safe.

What will I learn about in training?

Once accepted as a probationary member, you will undergo departmental training and also take the Firefighter I NYS training course to give you a foundation in the fundamental aspects of firefighting. Topics include:

  • Introduction to the Fire Service
  • Ventilation
  • Personal Protective Equipment and SCBA
  • Fire Hose and Fire Streams
  • Fire Behavior
  • Water Supply
  • Building Construction
  • Fire Control
  • Portable Extinguishers
  • Salvage and Overhaul
  • Ropes and Knots
  • Fire Alarms
  • Rescue and Extrication
  • Fire Prevention and Public Education
  • Ground Ladders
  • EMS Training and more…
  • Forcible Entry

Training consists of both classroom and practical training. You will also have the opportunity to take more advanced courses in emergency medical services, hazardous materials, rescue techniques, and more. Training is a vital to the safety of our members
and to ensure that we provide a professional response to the Latham Fire Protection District that we serve.

How do I apply to become a probationary member?

Stop by the firehouse at 226 Old Loudon Rd or contact any member to get an application. Applicants must sign a release for permission to conduct a background investigation. If you are eligible based upon the review of your application and background check, you will then have an interview with the Standing Committee. The membership will then vote to accept you as a probationary member.

What is being a probationary member like?

As a probationary member, you will learn the basics about firefighting and the company. You will get your hands dirty and do some not so glamorous work like rolling hose. It’s a time to pay your dues and show the members of the company what you’re made of. Don’t worry though,there is nothing demeaning or humiliating about it and you will be making a real contribution to the company.

Can probationary members respond to emergency calls?

Absolutely, you may respond to calls as soon as you receive your gear and pager. Responding to calls is the best way to learn, and probationary members are encouraged to attend as many calls as they can.

How can I find out more about becoming a firefighter?

We want to give you all the information you need to help you make your decision. Call the fire department at 518-785-1283, email us at president@lathamfd.org or stop by the firehouse at 226 Old Loudon Rd. We will be happy to answer your questions, arrange for you to watch a drill, or show you around the firehouse. You can also visit our website at www.lathamfd.org for more information.