::WHO WE ARE::
The City of Beacon Permanent Firefighters Association
(BPFFA) is made up of 12 paid full-time career firefighters that are all
members of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local
3490, the New York State Professional Firefighters Association
(NYSPFFA) District 3, and the Dutchess County Professional Firefighters Association (DCPFFA). The City of Beacon Fire Department employees the 12
career professional firefighter/EMTs that are broken down into
four groups. Each group consist of 3
firefighter/EMTs that rotate through a 24 hour on and 72 hour off system that
averages out to a 42 hour work week.
The 3 firefighters per shift operate two engines and one
ladder to each first alarm. Also 2 firefighters will respond with one engine
and one ladder to all life-threatening medical calls to provide basic life
support until an ambulance arrives at the scene. In addition to this 1
firefighter will operate the rescue to all rescue calls and multiple alarm
fires. This provides the city with 24/7 paid coverage.
Beacon is located just about a hour north of New York City, in it's
northern suburbs. The city consist about 16,000 people in an area of about 5
square miles. The city has about 5,500 homes and multiple dwellings, 1,000
commercial businesses, and numerous industrial businesses. It also contains
many world famous art museums/ studios, the Hudson River, Interstate 84 and
the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge which carries the interstate over the Hudson, a
developed waterfront, the New York City northern communter train line, and many other tourism related facilities.
The City of
Department operates as a combination department with about 75 volunteers and
12 career firefighters. It runs out of three station houses with two engines,
a tower ladder, a heavy rescue, a marine unit, and a reserve engine. The
department runs over 1,500 calls a year with about 60% of the runs being EMS
first response and 40% of them being Fire/ Rescue related.
Even though most of the companies were created in 1886, it was not until the
Village of Matteawan and Fishkill Landing merged to form the City of Beacon
in 1913 that the newly created city received it's first form of paid
firefighters. At the city's formation, it found that a city requires career
staff to run and maintain the station houses. So the city hired nine able
body men to be paid janitor/ fire drivers. At this time the city was just
changing over from horse to motorized apparatus, so these nine men
maintained the new automotive fire apparatus, the three station houses, and
took in fire calls from police dispatch.
city's fire department career staff remained pretty much unchanged until about
the 1950s. At this time the career staff's role began to change from being
primarily paid janitors, to being paid drivers. Also at this time three more
paid drivers were hired to bring the staffing level to it's current level of
again the career staff saw little change until the 1980s, when much began to
change for the career staff. In the beginning of this new era volunteer levels
in the department were at its peak of over 300, the department was still
running only about 300 calls a year although nearly half of them were fires.
However times were about to change drastically for the paid drivers, just in
the horizon was modern day firefighting.
Modern day firefighting began about 1988 for the career staff. This is when
the department sent it's first paid firefighter, #18 - Russell Joseph, to
professional firefighter probie school located in Westchester County, NY.
This marked the career staff's third major change in their role from being
paid drivers to now being career firefighters.
the career staff dropped its first union, Local 5 of the Professional
Firefighters Association (PFA), and joined its current union, Local 3490 of
the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF). Also during this period,
as the national fire service began to shift towards participating in EMS, so
did Beacon. During the mid-1990s, Beacon Career Firefighters began to become
EMTs putting the department on first response to medical calls. This change in
the department boosted the department's runs from a mere 400 to around 1,000 a
Currently the career staff consist of 12 Career Firefighter/ EMTs that are
broken down into four shifts of three men. The staff operates all six of the
department's apparatus to all of the runs in the city, which is over 1,300
alarms a year. In addition the staff is responsible for the daily
maintenance of the three station houses, six apparatuses, department
equipment, and various activities that are conducted day-to-day. These
activities range from fire prevention to fire hydrant inspections.