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615 East Main Street
Call 911 if you have an emergency.
Non Emergency Number: (315) 597-5111
FIRST ASSISTANT CHIEF
SECOND ASSISTANT CHIEF
Wayne "JJ" Eidman, Jr
Dave Oakley Jr.
To the residents within the protection area of the Palmyra Fire Department,
Recently a fundraising flyer was mailed out on behalf of the Palmyra Fire Company seeking
donations. There has been some confusion or simply general inquiry as to how these donations are
used as well as some confusion as to the difference between the two entities involved (Department
and Company). I would like to take this opportunity to better explain that difference, in an effort to
keep matters transparent to our citizens whom we serve in our community.
The Palmyra Fire Department is a village owned and operated entity whose origins date back to
1826. In its current configuration, the department can be thought of as the building, apparatus,
equipment, and gear that responds to every emergency in our protection district. The 100% volunteer
members of the Palmyra Fire Department are also, of course, an integral part of the department and are technically village employees while responding to an emergency, while training, or while operating in any other capacity as called on by the village of Palmyra. Palmyra Fire Department provides protection to the
Village of Palmyra by default, and is currently contracted for fire protection by the Town of Palmyra to
cover part of the town and, a portion of the Town of Manchester is also covered through contract. The
Village Board of Palmyra is responsible then, for allocating funds and setting the operating budget of
the department, made up of the funds from these contracts and taxpayers within the village.
The Palmyra Fire Company then, can be thought of as an organization for the membership that
makes up the Palmyra Fire Department. The Palmyra Fire Company was registered as a not for profit
LLC on May 22 nd 1974. The department draws its membership from the company. It must, as a village
owned and operated fire department within the State of New York. The company has its own separate
bylaws, leadership, and mission, which include supporting the membership of the Palmyra Fire
Department (through fundraisers) and promoting fire safety education with the public. As a non-profit,
the company relies on donations from the public to fund its endeavors. This could include anything
from buying fire education booklets for youth to providing funds for equipment for the department that
could otherwise not be purchased in a timely manner due to budget constraints. Funds have also
been used to support those in our area affected by loss from a fire or other tragedy. Because all
department membership comes from membership in the company (though it is not required to belong
to department to hold membership in the company), one can be forgiven for seeing the two entities as
one, and not understanding certain nuances between them.
Making that distinction less clear over the years, decisions and purchases have been made by
the Palmyra Fire Company that have had impact on the department (and vice versa). For instance, if
you’ve ever attended a pancake breakfast (a company fundraiser), it can be noted that the tables and
chairs used in the banquet room are half-owned by the Palmyra Fire Company and half-owned by the
Palmyra Fire Auxiliary. The ATV which responds to brush fires and other emergencies in our area is
owned and maintained by the company while leased to the village for use within the department.
When presented to the public at a parade or other official event, a member may be seen driving a
department owned vehicle while wearing a uniform purchased by the company.
While I feel it is important for the public to understand the differences between these entities, I
feel it is ultimately much more important to understand their true function: to work together as one for
the sake of our community. While finances for each organization come from different sources, for
different purposes, the goal remains to keep our residents and their property safe. Membership in
both organizations, is also dwindling, which only complicates that goal. I encourage anyone and
everyone living within reach of our services, to become involved with either the Palmyra Fire
Company, Palmyra Fire Department, or even our Palmyra Fire Auxiliary to better understand not only
how each of these organizations operates, but to be a part of their operation and serve your
community. I hope that this letter serves to clear up any misunderstandings, and I hope to continue to
have the community’s support in the future.
2 nd Assistant Chief Richard Sturgill Mayor David A. Husk
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