Stillwater Fire District

Stillwater Fire District - Arvin Hart Fire Company

Photos compliments of Bob Eastman owner of Ground Aerial photo services 2013


HVVFA Firefighter of the Year 2017

Congratulations to our Deputy Chief Bob Wood who has been awarded the Firefighter of the Year Award by the Hudson Valley Volunteer Firemanís Association for his actions in rescuing a combative victim during a working structure fire on Clinton Court in the Village of Stillwater earlier in the year.  Chief Jeff Mahar of the Newland Wood Fire Department in the Village was instrumental in submitting Chief Wood for this honor.  Deputy Wood has volunteered for over three decades devoting his life to the residents of Stillwater.  Unfortunately the victim later succumbed to his injuries.  Chief Wood will receive his award at the Hudson Valley Firemanís Convention being held in West Glens Falls on June 16th.


Fire Extinguishers to Know Them is To Understand Them

Lately I have watched a number of You Tube videos related to car fires.  Inevitably a fire extinguisher appears from somewhere and an attempt is made to put out a vehicle fire, usually with miserable results.  Why doesnít it ever work?  Letís examine whatís wrong.

There are a number of different types of extinguishing agents, water, dry chemical, and carbon dioxide are the ones that most people will put their hands one.  The first issue is most have never used an extinguisher before and therefore donít know how to make it work.  The basics are pull the pin and squeeze the handle and aim.  That sounds pretty simple; it is but you need to understand the limitations and thatís where we go wrong.  Water extinguishers work most efficiently on wood, paper or cloth materials, they will not work well on flammable or combustible materials.  Dry chemical extinguishers with an A, B & C rating will work on all materials but they have limitations which I will explain in a moment.  Then there are carbon dioxide extinguishers which work on flammable and combustible liquids, they work best inside a structure because they discharge as a gas and are easily blown around outside.

All of these extinguishers have the following limitations; the range is limited therefore you have to get close enough to apply the extinguishing agent directly to the base of the fire.  Most first time users donít want to get that close, and therefore shoot the extinguisher off too far away with little effect.  This is especially true of the gaseous carbon dioxide (CO2) extinguisher.  The second important limitation is the duration of use.  It doesnít take long to use up all of the agent and there you are left holding an empty extinguisher as the fire grows in front of you.  Remember the agent has to reach the base of the fire.  If you are going to try to use an extinguisher, which means there is something burning, its best to call 911 right away; call first or have someone call for you.

So the car is burning and you are running around to find an extinguisher to put it out, no one has called 911.  You rush up to the car and discharge the extinguisher on the flames until it runs out.  Very often the fire gets larger, why, you werenít able to place the extinguishing agent on the source of the fire which is usually under the hood.  If you try to open the hood, the latch doesnít work, because the minute cord used to release the hood has already burnt off.  Now you canít get to whatís burning.  Hope you called 911 because that fire is going to get bigger and spread to the dash and the interior of the car.  If it does just hope you have insurance because nothing you or the fire department can do will save it.  We also hope that there are no exposures; buildings or other vehicles.

Next comes the fear of the large explosions, not really, save that for the TV folks who add pyrotechnics to the mix.  It will just sit there and furiously burns due to the plastics, rubber and fuel in the vehicle.  Once a vehicle is burnt out, there is very little left.  Very often the tires will blow off as will other objects which are under stored pressure.  The best advice is to get away from it, donít suck in the smoke from the burning plastics and hope the fire department arrives quickly.  If you are in your car and discover it may be on fire, the first thing to do is pull the hood release, you may only have one chance.  Otherwise get away from the car and donít get injured, youíre not likely to save it.  When you report the fire on 911 tell the call taker if there are exposures, other vehicles or buildings which may be touched by the flames.

While itís a good practice to know how to use an extinguisher, itís very important to understand the limitations, distance and duration. That little 2 1/2lb unit you carry around with you, you might better throw it at the fire and run.  It might be fine for a fire on the top of the stove but thatís it Ė also know that a dry chemical extinguisher discharged inside makes a hell of mess to clean up.

When the fire department does show up, we will be wearing full PPE protection including self contained breathing apparatus and we will use several hundreds of gallons of water to extinguish the fire.  If the hood is not opened, we will have to pry it open with much difficulty to douse the flames.



Upcoming Events

Aug 6 Turning Point Parade Schuylerville
Aug 13 Bennington Battle Day Parade
Aug 30 Foam Ops at Rail Yard
Sept 30 Live Burn Operations Training Center



Training Minutes


Fire Extinguisher Training for Everyone

Auto Extrication


Regularly Scheduled Events:

Training -- Wednesday Nights beginning at 6:30 P.M. and Saturdays beginning at 8:00 A.M. with breakfast beginning at 7:30AM

Company Meetings -- 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7:30 P.M.

Board of Fire Commissioner's Meeting -- 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30 P.M.



Firefighting isnít for everyone, volunteering is Ė there is more to do than what is shown here:

YouTube Volunteering Video


Download sign-up sheets and become a member!  (Click both links below and fill out)


Membership Application



DMV Disclosure


Attention District Residents: To make sure your county 911 information is correct, call Saratoga County Emergency Services at 884-4769 daily between  9 A.M. and 5 P.M.


Related Links:

Intellicast Weather Page

NY Fire Fighterís Cancer Support Network

OFPC - Firefighting, Rescue, EMS - Training for Firefighters, Firefighter Jobs, EMS, Rescue - Extrication, HazMat, Paramedic, Tactics & More

U.S. Fire Administration

NYS Assoc. of Fire chiefs

NYS Assoc. of Fire Districts

Association of Fire Districts of the Capital Area

NOAA's National Weather Service

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency


NY Alert

American Airboats

Empire Chemical Sales 


Shakerley Truck Sales

Stillwater Fire District e-mail login



Additional Training Resource Links:


New Developments in Fire Service Training


Get on Board with Fire Service Updates Training




Commissioners and Officers

Board of Fire Commissioner's for 2017

Anthony Ponzillo, Chairman; Mike Handerhan, Facilities Committee; Tom Rinaldi Apparatus Committee; Nick Maciariello,  Treasurer; Bill Ritter, Apparatus Committee;  Bob Carson Facilities Committee; Barb Comitale, Secretary/Deputy Treasurer


Line Officers for 2017

Chief            -- Zach Zendran

Deputy        -- Bob Wood

Assistant     -- Dave Dunn

Captains      -- Rick Hopeck

                     -- R J Laurenzo

                     -- CJ Brownell

Lieut.           -- Jason Urdang

                      -- Jamie Herrick

                      -- Tim Collins


Fire Police Capt.

                      -- Paul Macey


Fire Police Lt.

                      -- Bill Valosin


Administrative Officers for 2017

President -- Lisa Laurenzo

V.P.            -- Nick Maciariello

Treasurer -- Jaclyn Thomas



                   -- Chris Wright

Correspondence Secretary

                   -- Tiffani Scrom

Sergeant at Arms

                   -- Bill Ritter

Trustees   -- Dave Duquette, Jason Urdang, Jeff Nyland, Ed Sabourin, and Tim Collins




Words to Reflect On

A good firefighter knows how, an educated firefighter knows why.


Capt. Chris Walker






The most important resource in the fire service, particularly the volunteer service is the people.  Without them we can do nothing.  The volunteer fire service is in crisis.   At this time very few people are volunteering, and not everyone can do this job, but some can do many jobs in the fire service.  There is a lack of daytime resources and the fire service is aging out.  During the day we are running daytime mutual aid with resources coming from several different fire companies.  The issue will be and has on occasion been, the fact that the mutual aid companies are also short staffed.  The eventual result will be that we will have to pay for staffing, which will place an additional burden on the taxpayers.  We are trying to keep the volunteers service alive but itís becoming more difficult every day.    Career departments are also often short staffed for a different reason -  departments find their budgets strained under the burden of salaries, benefits and retirement costs - resulting in unfilled positions and short staffing.

The Arvin Hart Fire Co is in need of volunteers and especially those who would like to serve as fire police.  There are requirements for membership as well as training requirements for fire police since they are sworn peace officers while on duty.  If you would like to volunteer please email us at or stop by on Wednesday evenings which is our training day.


No activity at this time.

Facility News

The projects at Station 2 move forward.  While the water tank project continues the construction company has run the water line into the station.  At the same time the oil tanks have been removed to make way for the water line and backflow preventers.  The domestic system will be hooked in and a wall hydrant will be installed in the engine bays.  The 21 year old heating system is being replaced with a high efficiency propane system for both building heat and on demand hot water.  Gone is the inefficient 90 gallon hot water tank for the three sinks in the facility.  A 1000 gallon propane tank will be buried on site.  Also gone will be the high mineral content sulfur water which came from the well.  We will also save money by removing the water treatment equipment since the County water is of better quality.

The next big facility project will be the replacement of the 42 year old station on Route 423.  Metal buildings are normally replaced after 25 years.  The station is beginning to deteriorate and is not energy efficient.  It will be a few more years before we will be ready to replace the station.


Apparatus News


The new Chevrolet Tahoe has been placed in service as the Chiefís car.  The 2011 Ford Expedition is up for bid, the specifications can be viewed here:

We will be replacing another car in 2019 and the third in 2021, with a reoccurring replacement every seven years.


The officerís are working on draft specifications to replace U11-3 which is the water rescue support unit.  The current unit is 18 years old and will likely go out to bid in 2018.  The current unit is a used ambulance which carries water rescue equipment and the cold water suits used for rescue during the winter months.  The unit also tows the air boat to the scene of the incident.


Training is being suspended during the Saturdayís in August.  Everyone is busy at the height of the summer and attendance is light anyway.  Saturday breakfast and training will resume after Labor Day.

Members have the ability to access free on-line training on the web.  To access, go online at:, click on E-Learning.  The access code is on the Watch Desk Book in the radio room.  Many of these courses have been revised and some new subjects have been added. 

Training Resource Links:

Local Training


FireRescue 1


Firehouse Magazine


Fire Engineering


ICS Training Resources


Emergency Response Guidebook Training




Mission Statement:


  • Recruiting, cultivating, and retaining the highest quality diverse membership that remains committed to our mission and values.
  • Consistently delivering the best possible services to mitigate emergencies within our financial means and training in the safest manner possible.
  • Focusing on the safety of our members and the community before, during and after emergencies.
  • Partnering with local community, city, county, state, and federal officials and organizations in support of our vision.
  • Developing future leaders in the fire protection and emergency management community worldwide.
  • Encouraging innovative, forward-thinking strategies to reach our vision.