About The Fire District
Henrietta Fire District
Prior to 1969, the Town of Henrietta was protected by three independently operated volunteer fire companies. They were Henrietta Fire Company #1, located on East Henrietta Road, the West Henrietta Fire Department, located on Erie Station Road and the Genesee Valley Fire Department, located on Riverview Drive. Each of those volunteer companies still exist today, as part of the Henrietta Fire District. In 1969, the Town of Henrietta granted by resolution that the three volunteer fire companies consolidate operations and become a Fire District.
Today, the Henrietta Fire District is a combination department (career and volunteer) that provides fire protection and first response emergency medical services (EMS) to a response area of 35 sq. miles. This includes all of Henrietta, which has a population of over 45,000 full time residents. The District also provides fire and EMS service to 21 miles on the New York State Thruway I-90 and 10 miles on I-390. The town estimates that as many as 250,000 people live, work, or pass through our town each day. On an average day 25,000 to 30,000 vehicles pass through the I-90 interchange into our town. The District also has a county wide mutual aid agreement with the City of Rochester and all other communities within Monroe County, population 735,343 (2000 U. S. Census). The District responded to 4663 calls in 2019 as compared to 1,190 calls in 1990. Due to the tremendous growth in population and businesses in the Town; and also that people are not willing or able to volunteer their time to firefighting, the District has hired additional career firefighters over the years.
The Board of Fire Commissioners is the governing body commissioned with providing fire and rescue service to its residents. The cost for this service is paid for through the collection of your tax dollars. The District is its own taxing agency and therefore has the power to levy taxes (similar to a School District). The fire tax is the only means of funding for the Fire District. Unlike other forms of local government, we do not receive a share of income or sales tax, nor is there any specified annual state or federal aid that the district receives. However, the district is subject unfunded mandates on the local, state and federal level. While the Fire District can accept and appreciates donations, the Henrietta Fire District cannot legally solicit funds through mass fund drive mailings or any other means. Any fund drive mailing you may receive is from one of the three volunteer companies. Fund drive money is used to maintain the facilities of the three volunteer companies.
Henrietta Fire District Fire Stations
There are six fire stations within the Town of Henrietta. The Fire District owns three of these stations, and independent volunteer fire companies own the remainder.
The District owns all equipment and apparatus at the six stations and rents from the companies the truck bays, radio room, and the volunteer chief's office space.
District Owned Stations:
Station 4 located at 850 Bailey Road is the Fire District's Headquarters. This station is staffed with career officers and firefighters twenty-four hours a day. The District dispatch center is also at this location, as well as the daytime administrative staff.
Station 5 located at 230 Pinnacle Road is staffed with two to three career firefighters and an officer twenty-four hours a day.
Station 6 located at 60 Erie Station Road houses the District's training center, now called the Francis G. Byrne Training Center. This is used for District training as well as outside firefighting agencies. Currently, volunteers respond from this station. It is anticipated that this station will be staffed with two to three career firefighters and an officer, twenty-four hours a day in 2022.
The three fire company owned stations are:
Station 1 - Henrietta Fire Company No. One located at 3129 East Henrietta Road, volunteer staffed.
Station 2 - West Henrietta Fire Department, 774 Erie Station Road, volunteer staffed.
Station 3 - Genesee Valley Fire Department 9 Riverview Drive, volunteer staffed.
WHO'S WHO IN THE FIRE DISTRICT?
The Board of Fire Commissioners
The Fire District governing body is made up of five (5) Commissioners elected by the voters of Henrietta. They serve a five-year term, and one (1) Commissioner is elected each year. The election is held the second Tuesday in December, by state law. Any registered voter in the Henrietta Fire District may vote. The Commissioners oversee administrative activities, including setting the tax rate, budget, apparatus and equipment purchases, building maintenance and repair or replacement, etc. Commissioners are assigned different areas of responsibilities. These include finance, insurance, personnel, equipment, and building and grounds. Similar to the Town and School Boards, the only pre-requisite to becoming a candidate for Commissioner is that the candidate must live in the town of Henrietta and complete the petition requirements.
The Commissioners hold a monthly business meeting on the second Tuesday of each month at the District headquarters. Other meetings may be held from time to time to conduct District business. Per NYS Open Meetings Law, all Commission meetings where District business is conducted are open to the public. The official newspaper of the Henrietta Fire District is the Messenger Post. All legal notices are published in this paper. The District also has a website www.henriettafire.com which contains information about the District, current events etc.
The Secretary/Treasurer is an appointed, fulltime, position that serves as the chief fiscal officer and records manager of the Fire District. Duties include maintaining all records, prepare mandated state and district financial reports, prepare the preliminary budget for the Board and assist in preparing the final budget. Also acts as liaison to various committees and legal counsel.
The Assistant Treasurer is a fulltime position that performs general office functions with a concentration on HR duties and management of HR records. Assist the Secretary/Treasurer in other duties as required.
The Chief of the Henrietta Fire District is a career position and is ultimately responsible for the firematic operation of the Fire District. Some of the duties include: supervision of the career and volunteer firefighters and officers, liaison to Town, County and State agencies, assist with budget preparation, grant writing, purchasing, and serves with the Commission on various committees and labor contract negotiations. The Chief is supported by a Career Assistant Chief and three volunteer Battalion Chiefs.
The Assistant Chief of the Henrietta Fire District is a career position, and his current assignment includes overseeing Operations, Training and EMS programs. The Assistant Chief serves on various committees at the direction of the Fire Chief. The Assistant Chief also performs the duties of the Fire Chief in his absence.
The Fire District is divided into three geographical areas called Battalions. A Battalion Chief is responsible for each of these geographical areas. The rank of Battalion Chief is a volunteer position.
Currently the District employs four career captains and ten career lieutenants. These officers are assigned to each of the four groups of career firefighters and are responsible for management of the firefighters assigned to their group. Each officer is assigned an area of responsibility within the District, example: scheduling, inventory, communications.
A career Captain is assigned to a staff position and is in charge of the fire prevention program as well as being the District Safety Officer. As Fire Prevention Officer, this individual visits local schools and businesses to educate them about fire safety. The Safety Officer is responsible for the Henrietta Fire District meeting all Local, State, and Federal safety regulations.
A career Lieutenant is also assigned to the staff position of Municipal Training Officer (MTO). This position is required by NYS Law and is responsible for the training provided to all firefighters. This includes the annual one hundred hours of in service training required for career firefighters. The MTO is also in charge of EMS recertification as well as weekly drills for volunteer firefighters. This individual is also responsible for the recruit volunteer firefighting training program which runs 13 weeks or more.
The District currently has two volunteer captains and three volunteer lieutenants. Volunteer firefighters in each battalion are supervised by volunteer captains and lieutenants. The volunteer officers assist the volunteer battalion chiefs with operational and station duties in each battalion.
The first career firefighter in Henrietta was hired in 1975. The current 36 career firefighters are divided into four groups providing coverage twenty-four hours a day. Each group consists of nine firefighters and three officers. They staff one engine and one ladder out of Station #4 (Bailey Rd.) and one engine at Station #5 (Pinnacle Rd.) Career firefighters in Henrietta meet all the training requirements as specified by NYS. This initial training currently exceeds 400 hours in firefighting and rescue as well as an additional 200 hours of EMS training to become an EMT. All career firefighters are NYS certified as firefighters and EMTs. All newly hired firefighters are nationally certified as well. In addition, per NYS Law, career firefighters must receive a minimum of 100 hours of in-service fire training annually and receive an additional 24 hours of EMS training annually.
A question that is often asked is how to get hired as a firefighter. All career firefighters have taken and passed a Civil Service exam and are hired in accordance with Civil Service rules.
The District has approximately 55 volunteer firefighters. These dedicated people are your neighbors who give their time and efforts to protect you, your neighbors and guests. Our most senior active volunteer has served the community for almost 50 years. All volunteer firefighters receive their training through Fire District's Training Office. Initial volunteer firefighter training, though not as long as career firefighter training, is still over 200 hours. Many of our volunteers are also EMTs, with the same additional 200-hour requirement as career firefighters.
Public Safety Dispatchers
The District employs four Public Safety Dispatchers. Each group is assigned one Public Safety Dispatcher. With a District as large and as busy as we are, we rely on these Dispatchers to provide the communications and coordination to accomplish our job.
Due to the size of our fleet, which consists of 21 vehicles, the District employs a full time mechanic. The mechanic does preventative maintenance, routine and emergency repairs to our apparatus and equipment. Having a mechanic on site reduces the downtime of apparatus and costs of repairs.
We hope this information has helped. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, this is meant to give you an overview of your Fire District. We will be going into greater detail on many of these subjects in the future. If you have any questions or concerns please join us at one of our meetings or call us at 334-1234 and leave a message and someone will get back to you.