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Frequently Asked Questions


Below are questions that we are often asked by the public. The answers we have posted below will hopefully give you a better understanding of our organization, mission, and operations. If there is a question you have and the answer is not below, feel free to contact us by visiting the Contact Us page.


Why does the fire department respond to medical emergencies?


One may often see the Solvay Fire Department at medical emergencies. The reason for this is because we can often get to an emergency scene quicker than an ambulance and begin to provide potentially life saving measures. Many of our firefighters are trained to the level of Emergency Medical Technician in the State of New York allowing our agency to provide first responder emergency medical care until an ambulance arrives with paramedics.


Are Solvay Firefighters paid for their service?


No, Solvay Firefighters are 100% Volunteer, saving the community millions of dollars each year in salaries, retirement, overtime, etc. Nonetheless, Solvay firefighters are trained to the same standards as paid firefighters and compose themselves professionally in the field. Plus, many paid firefighters with other agencies volunteer their time with our department.


How many emergencies does Solvay Fire respond to a year?


Solvay Fire responds to around 1500 calls each year, which averages out to approximately 4-5 calls per day. About 60% of our alarms are medical calls (heart attacks, car accidents, etc.), 30% fire related (fire alarms, structure fires, etc.), and 10% public service calls.


I hear the siren blowing, but don't see anybody respond. Why?


The Solvay Fire Department responds to emergencies from two different fire stations. One is located on Milton Ave. whereas the other is located on Cogswell Ave. Normally, the siren will sound everytime we are dispatched to a call and one of the two stations will respond. If no activity is seen at one station, usually the other station has already responded to the call.


Are there always people at the fire station?


Not always. The Solvay Fire Department is volunteer, so there may not always be people at the station. However, firefighters are alerted of calls via pagers and text messages, then respond to the station to get the fire truck they need to handle the emergency. Most of the time though, there are people at one station or the other. During normal college semesters, college students live at station one and other members do stand-bys in their free time. 

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