Tucked away on the west side of the small town of Broad Channel in the middle of Jamiaca Bay is a narrow, dead end, street that goes by the name of West 12th Road. Those of us who live there know that the nice part about living in a small town is that when you are not quite sure what is going on, someone else always does!
[Peter J. Mahon West 12th Road, Broad Channel]
Volunteers with the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department. Photos By Daniel Offner.The Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department (BCVFD) held an open house on April 23-24, as part of Recruit NY—a statewide campaign to recruit new volunteers by demonstrating some of the duties and equipment used by the department.
“The biggest problem we face is membership,” said Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department Chief Dan McIntyre. “We took a beating [after Hurricane Sandy]. We lost a good group of core members.”
According to McIntyre, the department’s membership is at the bare minimum and they are in need of new volunteers, not only to assist with fighting fires, but anyone willing to commit time and effort to helping neighbors on the peninsula.
“We don’t discriminate,” Fire Chief Andrew Knee said. “There’s a job for everyone.”
Knee said, while not everyone wants to be the one to run into a burning building, the department could always use extra help when it comes to answering the phones or driving the trucks.
Volunteer Firefighters Alyssa Fioravante and Ryan Cook.Broad Channel “Vollies” were among 561 departments statewide that participated in Recruit NY.
In addition to giving demonstrations on how to properly handle all of the equipment—from the fire hose to the “Jaws of Life”—the department also offers training courses, scholarship opportunities and community service credit for students that want to get involved.
High school sophomore Erin Moss, the “Vollies” newest recruit, said she joined the department to follow in the footsteps of her sister and two brothers, who also served the department.
“It’s fun,” Moss said, “It’s very hands on.”
After the “Jaws of Life,” this car is good for scrap metal.Established in 1905, the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department carries on the tradition of “neighbors helping neighbors” by recruiting local volunteers.
New recruit Erin Moss and Chief Knee show how to use the “Jaws of Life.” New recruit Erin Moss uses the hose. Firefighters demonstrate on CPR dummies. Norria Tian and her baby brother stop by the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department’s Open House.