Stillwater Fire District

Stillwater Fire District - Arvin Hart Fire Company

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




The fire district held its annual budget hearing on October 18th.  During the open public meeting at the conclusion of the hearing, the commissioners voted to over ride the tax cap for the 2017 levy and adopted the final budget.  For 2017 the tap cap was .68% and the district over rode it by just over $1,000.  The tax rate for 2017 will not change, approx. $1.13 per thousand which has been fairly stable over the last few years.


The fire district election will be held on December 13th from 6pm until 9pm when we will be electing one Commissioner for a four year term and a Commissioner for a five year term.  The four year term is what remains from a commissioner who resigned his position.  On the same evening the Board will conduct their monthly meeting starting at 7:30pm.


Transition to the Winter Season

The members of the Arvin Hart Fire Company have been fortunate although we have seen an increase in calls this year, most have not been serious.  We know that our summerlike weather will not last forever and cold weather fire fighting challenges include, frozen water lines, pumps, nozzles, hydrants, gauges on the apparatus, lack of footing on walkways and ladders, frozen equipment, fire fighter fatigue, frozen air pack components and soft tissue injuries such as frostbite.  Additional fire fighters are needed to cycle fresh crews during the event and to keep injuries to a minimum, this will require mutual aid assistance from local departments due to staffing shortages especially during the day.

Traveling around the town many of the fire hydrants are tough to see due to high grass or they could use a fresh coat of paint.  If you have a hydrant near your home do us a favor and make it stand out.

As we prepare for colder temperatures we will likely be responding to chimney fires, always caused by a buildup of creosote which condenses as it cools on the walls of chimneys.  The creosote is a product of combustion that looks glossy and black but when it is heated to higher temperatures it explodes like popcorn blocking the vent pipe or flue.  A couple of ways to avoid the buildup is regular inspection and cleaning or burning the system super hot daily to avoid long term build up and blockage.

Unfortunately if a solid fuel burning system is installed improperly it shows up after daily and repeated heating of combustible framing that does not have proper clearance to the components of the heating system.  When wood framing members are too close to the venting components of a solid fuel burning device the repeated heating and cooling lowers the ignition temperature until one day you find yourself with a fire in the walls or attic and canít figure out why.  It wonít happen right away, thatís why its important to have these systems installed under a building permit, by qualified installers and follow the manufacturerís instructions without fail.

We also see an increase in CO or Carbon Monoxide detector calls as we close the house up and turn on the heating systems.  While some are false alarms due to batteries or outdated sensors, many have been the result of defective heating systems.  The detectors have done their job and detected an increase of deadly CO due to defective or leaking heating systems.  If the detector sounds an alarm, donít be afraid to call the fire department to check it out, we donít mind short, easy calls.

Unfortunately in recent national study smoke alarms, while perceived as important devices, are not ones that people interact with on a regular basis and are not viewed as essential to daily living as other devices, leading to a failure to install or maintain them.  Smoke detectors and CO detectors can and do save lives.  To date 76 of our friends, relatives and neighbors have perished in fires in one and two family dwellings in New York State, over 1100 nationally.

Itís always a relief to the members of the fire department when they arrive on the scene of a working fire to hear that all residents are out of the structure, thatís what smoke detectors do, they save lives but only if they work.  A simple residential sprinkler system installed with the plumbing will not only save your life, itís like having the fire department parked at the house.



Upcoming Events

Nov 5 Training Center
Nov 6 Sunday Breakfast at Clifton Park FD
Nov 8 Get out and Vote
Nov 24 Happy Thanksgiving
Dec 8 Halloween
Dec 13 Election Day Ė VOTE!



November Training Minutes


Training Focus of the Month

Communications Best Practices

Situational Awareness 50 ways to Kill a Firefighter


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

Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund

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

Saratoga Co Fire Officers

NOAA's National Weather Service

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency


NY Alert

Wearlon Corporation

Groundaerial web site

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 2016

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 2016

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 2016

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

Life is pleasant.  Death is peaceful.  Itís the transition thatís troublesome.

Seth Hoffman





Members celebrating their birthdays this month are: Chris Miller on the 14th.

For anyone applying there is a process that needs to be followed which may take up to 90 days to complete.  Unfortunately as new members apply, we lose other members for various reasons.  The fire service today experiences an average 5 year turnover rate, as a result we are always in need of new members.  If you want a challenge, if you want to serve your community and if you want to keep your taxes low, please consider serving as a volunteer firefighter.  There is a job for everyone.  If you are interested, stop by on any Wednesday evening, Saturday mornings or email us at  Applications are on this web page, center section.


There is no grant activity for the department at this time.

Facility News

If you have noticed a lot of activity around station 2 on George Thompson Road, its because the Town is constructing a 1M gallon water tank on property the obtained from the Fire District.  The tank is part of the new water system being developed to take water from the Saratoga County Water Authority.  The tank will supply pressure for the water district users since it is at a high point on the system.  One of the benefits will be that the fire station will have public water and we will be able to disconnect from our well which is heavy with minerals especially sulfur.  The fire district will also benefit from having hydrants on Elmore Robinson, VanNess Road, McDermott Road and portions of George Thompson, and County 75.  Additional hydrants are always an advantage to the fire department.  When finished the tank will look similar to the one pictured here.


Apparatus News

Our new ETA is under construction at KME Fire Apparatus in Pennsylvania.  We continue to work with them on details as construction progresses.  The purchasing team will likely be traveling to the factory in February to check out the build as it transitions to final assembly.  At this time the cab and the chassis are in production in separate sections of the plant.  Pictures of the build are on this site under the Fire Company section on the left side of the page.  We will continue to post pictures as we receive them.


A number of training opportunities are currently available from fire service organizations such as FASNY, State Chiefs, OFPC and County OES.  Training opportunities provided through the county are posted on the board in the apparatus bay.  Other training opportunities can be seen on the web sites of the other major fire service organizations.

The members of the department train every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning after breakfast is served up at Station 1.  Most Saturdays you can find Fire Police Captain, Paul Macey serving up the grub and breaking a few eggs over the hot stove.  Join us sometime.   The coffee is always on.

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.

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.