McGraw Fire Department

McGraw Fire Department

The McGraw Fire Department is located at 7 West Center Street in the Village of McGraw, Cortland County , New York.


   On February 19th 1869, the original by-laws were written and the McGrawville Fire Department was organized. A volunteer Fire fighting brigade was in existence as early as 1860, but when the village was charted, The organization of the Fire Department was part of the legislation. The Village board appointed Rufus H Graves to be Fire Chief. During the Village Charter election of March 1870, The taxpayers approved $ 275 dollars to be raised to equip the Department. At the same time the Department organized it's first company, the " Excelsior Fire Company" The first piece of apparatus was a hand engine that was inherited from the volunteer fire brigade. A new hose cart was purchased in 1873. The Fire apparatus was stored under a large bandstand on Main street until the Fire Department moved into the Firemans Hall Building.

    The Fire Department's early fundraising included: Hosting dances, acting in many vaudeville shows, and sponsoring winter fairs. On March 24th , 1893 the taxpayers approved a $ 3,000 dollar bond to construct a new 3 story village hall on South Street. The hall was completed in the spring of 1894 and the Fire Department moved it's headquarters to the first floor. At the same time two more companies were formed, The W.J. Buchanan Hose Company & Active Engine Company. The W.J. Buchanan Hose Company Changed it's title to the Corset City Hose Company #2 in 1902.The companies held regular drills. In the fall of 1894 the Fire Department purchased a new Hand Held Engine which could be operated by 40 men, and a new Hose cart for $1,000 dollars.

    In 1908 , Fire Hydrants were installed throughout the Village. Before this time water had to be pumped out of a creek , or fire well. In 1909 , the Active Engine Company #1 changed it's name to Active Hose Company #1

    On January 27th 1927 , The Village Hall burnt down! All of the Fire Equipment was saved , and was used to save many neighboring buildings. A new 2 Story cement block building was soon erected for $9,000 dollars. With the increase in Fire alarms, the Fire Department went motorized and in 1928 a Six Cylinder, Brockway/American LaFrance Fire Truck was purchased for $ 4,500 dollars.

    Prior to the year 1935, The McGraw Fire Department , under the direction of Chief Martin Caulfield, Made an agreement with the Town of Cortlandville to provide coverage on the East side of the township for $1.,000 dollars a year. Later in 1935 the Fire zone was extended to the towns of Solon and Freetown.

    During World War Two, many firefighters entered the military. Those who stayed trained and co-operated with Civil Defense to be ready with home front emergencies. After the war, it was out with the old and in with the new. In Fall of 1954 the first Rescue Truck was put into service and the first mobile radios were installed in all fire trucks. In summer of 1955 the first Tanker was purchased and the Village / Fire Hall was remodeled. In March of 1959 the Women’s Fire Auxiliary was organized. The Auxiliary President was Mrs. Elva Connelly.

    In the 1970's scanners and portable pagers were used for the first time by the firefighters. This new method was efficient and time saving. The Rescue Squad was organized in 1976. The Rescue Squad answered 58 calls in the first year. In October of 1985 the first mini pumper was put into service. In 1987 Active Hose Company #1 and Corset City Hose Company #2 merged into one fire unit.

    A new building was purchased and remodeled into a new fire station in 1989. The new station provided more truck space than the old fire hall. In 1996 the Jaws-of-Life were purchased for $14,000. Five inch hose was put into service on both engines in the fall of 1997. The Fire Department was honored with FEMA Grants. The grants funded some major equipment upgrades- new Turn-out Gear, a Thermal Imaging Camera, new Radios and SCBA equipment was purchased.

    Now with over 40 well-trained volunteers ready to cope with any emergency, the McGraw Fire Department has come a long way since 1869



Our Antiques include a 1941 American LaFrance pumper which we are currently raising money to restore. And an 1873 hand drawn hose cart and an 1870 hand drawn ladder cart

The Curent officers of the Department are as follows.

Chief - Tom Heller

1st Asst. Chief-- Brian Davis

2nd. Asst Chief  Ed Greenman 

3rd Asst Chief-Chuck Batsford

Captain- Chris McLean

1st Lt. Wade Woodard

2nd Lt.  Andrew Harvey 

Rescue Capt. - Charles Greenman 

rescue 1rst Lt - Brian powers

rescue 2nd Lt- Wade Woodard 

President- Larry Petrie

Vice Pres- Ron Hayes

Secretary- Jeff Sherwood

Treasurer- Jay Cobb



9th Annual Antique Fire Apparatus and car show!

August 26rd   2018 Check out the information on our car show on the news page!


Click to add text, images, and other content