The Village of Rhinebeck was settled in 1688 and was incorporated in 1834. The Rhinebeck Fire Department was founded on July 7, 1834 to provide fire protection to the inhabitants of the village.
In 1859 a new Button Hand Pumper, which was named “Pocahontas”, was purchased and operated by the village fire department. This early engine was pulled by hand and did not carry any water or hose. The hose was carried on another piece of apparatus called a hose cart. Water was obtained either from the nearby creek or from cisterns located under the roads at street corners. “Pocahontas” is still in working order and is often displayed in parades and other events.
In earlier years there were two separate companies. The H.S. Kipp Hose, and the Relief Hook and Ladder Co. These two companies merged in 1963 to form the Rhinebeck Fire Department. In 1970, the department took in the old Rhinebeck Rescue Squad to continue to provide the citizens of Rhinebeck with ambulance service.
Still to this day, the services of the Rhinebeck Fire Department are provided by 100% volunteer staff. The old 2 bay firehouse was located on West Market Street just west of the Beekman Arms. The current firehouse is located on East Market Street adjacent to the Town and Village Halls.
Today, the department’s apparatus consists of 2 Class “A” Pumpers, a 110′ Aerial Ladder Truck, and a Rescue Truck equipped with the “Jaws of Life” and air bags for the lifting of heavy objects. The department operates a BLS ambulance that is certified by New York State in Basic Life Support. Many pieces of apparatus carry a defibrillator (or AED) to help sustain life for heart problems. The department also operates an ATV to get into hard-to-reach spots such as Ferncliff Forest or Burger Hill, and a utility pickup truck that carries fire police equipment, chainsaws, and traffic cones. Lastly, the department operates an EMS fly-car to handle secondary EMS calls in the fire district. Our department works closely with neighboring departments both near and far to provide mutual aid coverage, ensuring that all of our neighbors are safe at all times, day or night, rain or shine.
The Fire Department also offers a $1,000 dollar scholarship program for younger members wanting to attend college.
Call 845-876-3133, or stop in on Monday Nights between 7:00pm and 9:00pm for an application.
You can also download an application here.
If you feel you do not have the time to volunteer but still want to help, donations can be sent to:
Rhinebeck Fire Department
76 East Market St.
Rhinebeck, N.Y. 12572
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