Fund Drive Letter and Donation Information
Dear Community Members & Friends,
As winter approaches and summer fades away, we begin our annual fund drive. We hope this letter finds you and the members of your family well. We would like to thank all of you for the continued support and generosity shown to our Department in the past.
Our Department finds ourselves in a unique position this year. While fire prevention efforts and better building codes have reduced the number of structure fires that we respond to, our agency is experiencing an increase in the demands of our services. For an organization that started in 1933 to respond to fire emergencies our services continue to evolve into other areas. This year we have already responded to over 160 calls. This is an increase of 26 percent over the highest number of calls ever in a calendar year.
These calls have included structure fires, vehicle fires, chimney fires, fire alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, vehicle extrications, rescue calls, and water rescue emergencies as well as assistance to the North Warren Emergency Squad when needed. We have also responded to many calls related to the severe storms in our region this year.
Our membership remains completely volunteer as we celebrate our 90th year of service to the Town of Chester. We have had two new members join this year who are in the middle of their initial training to become interior firefighters. This is a time commitment of 127 hours per member for their initial training. Once their initial training is complete, they will continue to train with the rest of the department in areas such as annual mandated trainings, new technologies including electric vehicle responses, and advanced skills such as vehicle rescue, pump operations, and emergency vehicle operations to become as efficient as possible in the case of an emergency. Our membership also completes certification in CPR and the use of an AED.
Through your generous donations we have been able to purchase additional equipment and training to help us assist in our community. In 2018 we purchased additional AED units for our three Chiefs who carry them in their personal cars. Just this summer a person visiting our community suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. One of our assistant chiefs was the first one on the scene and used the AED to deliver shocks combined with CPR which restored the person’s heartbeat. With the assistance of our firefighters and the care of the North Warren Emergency Squad, that person is alive and doing well today. This is just one example of how donations from our community have made a difference and been put back into the area that we all love.
Our members also provide community services such as fire prevention programs each year at North Warren Central School and our local daycare providers. We have multiple members who instruct CPR courses for our members and members of the community. We continue to provide our Distracted Driving program for the High School students just prior to the prom to remind them of the dangers of drinking and driving.
As a Fire Department, our organization does not receive any funding from either the Chestertown Fire District or the Town of Chester, which makes your generous donations important to us. If you are able to send a donation, know that we are a Not-for-Profit organization, and your donation is tax deductible. Your check will serve as your receipt. Donations can also be made online via our website at www.chestertownfiredept.com
As in the past, we thank you for your donation and stand ready to assist you in any manner. Should you have the time and desire to join our ranks or the ranks of the Fire Auxiliary, we would be privileged to have you apply and become a member.
The Members of the Chestertown Fire Department
If you would like to make a donation to our Fire Company, please mail it to:
Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company
Attn: Jack D. Bartlett, Secretary
PO Box 382
Chestertown, N.Y. 12817