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The City of Cortland Fire Department is a combination department consisting of 36 volunteer and 35 career firefighters operating from two stations. The City of Cortland’s land area is only four square miles of the County’s land area, yet almost 40% of the county’s population resides inside the city limits and the population density is 50 times higher than the county at large. The Fire Department provides emergency service protection for 18,7401 city residents, a transient population on the SUNY Cortland campus of 7,300 students and staff. The City of Cortland Fire Department is centered within four miles of three neighboring volunteer fire departments and participates in the County Mutual Aid Program.

The Department responds to approximately 2,600 alarms annually. In addition to fire and basic life support (BLS) first response, the department provides technical rescue and hazardous materials response for the nearly 50,000 residents of Cortland County. On duty firefighters are certified and provide commercial, residential and public assembly inspections as well as school inspections and investigation of complaints.  Staff assigned to the Code Enforcement Office oversee construction permits, complaints and multiple residence inspections among a multitude of other official functions.  All career firefighters hired since 1994 are required to have EMT Basic certification prior to appointment.  Many exceed the basic level of certification.

Responses to alarms around the clock are by on-duty forces provided by four rotating shifts consisting of a minimum of six career firefighters divided between 2 stations. Volunteer staff response varies by time of day and type of alarm.   Volunteers have the option to respond from home or take a shift assignment at the station. Bunker participants are assigned to a shift and typically are on an evening rotation. Primary staffing is two engines staffed with a Captain, Operator, 1 Firefighter and a ladder truck with an Aerial Operator. Weekdays from 8AM - 4PM the basic on-duty crew is augmented by a Deputy Fire Chief,  2 firefighters and the Captain assigned to the Code Enforcement Office to staff a third engine, and the Municipal Training Officer. Additionallly, A Deputy Fire Chief for Operations and the Chief of Department are on duty during regular business hours. 


1 Based on US Census 2000 estimates

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