The department was founded April 2, 1920, starting with 22 members
Allen C. Russ was appointed the first fire chief. The fire station was leased from the Columbian Inn on Main Street, commonly called Fowler Block. The floor of the building was several feet above the street, so a very steep concrete ramp was built to get the fire engine in and out of the building.
The first piece of equipment that the Bemus Point Fire Department had was a 1920 Model-T Ford fire truck.
In those days, there were no starters on the vehicles, so the 1920 Model-T Ford fire engine had to be cranked by hand and pushed down the ramp incline to get it started. The alarm at the time was the sounding of the church bell at the Methodist Church on Maple Street. Most all of the firemen lived or worked very close within the village limits. Many years have passed since then and many advancements have been made.
Some of these are an ice rescue boat, a 2009 (Diamond), prop-driven flatbottom boat, a new water rescue team with wetsuits and a 1996 22-foot Boston Whaler water rescue boat.
Both are used for the water areas surrounding Bemus Point, including Chautauqua Lake and area ponds. The equipment gives maximum safety for all department members, while expanding upon all aspects of lifesaving and ice and water rescue.
Bemus Point Volunteer Fire Department
Area of Coverage - village of Bemus Point, town of Ellery (46 square miles)
Date Established - 1920; incorporated in 1947
Number of Members - 41
Life Members: 20
Social and Exempt: 7
New Member Probation: 6
Age to Join - 16 for junior firefighters
Number of 2011 Calls - 57 EMS Calls - 107.
The department meets the second Tuesday of each month at 8 p.m.
Drills are held a 7 p.m. on the first, third and fourth Tuesdays.
Fundraising - Yearly fund drive through mailing of newsletter
Fire Chief: Ryan Walker
First Assistant: Mike Winnie
Second Assistant: Tom Rea
Third Assistant: Jeremy Crist
Fire Police Captain: Brad Crist
Rescue Captain: Mike Winnie
Fire Captain: Mike Seely
President: Mike Krott
Vice President: Brad Crist
Treasurer: Steve Hayes
Secretary: Sherrie Winnie
Financial Secretary: Debra Carlson
Board of Directors - Mike Krott, Pete Samuelson, Ryan Walker, and Scott Kelemen (village board)
EMS?level of care provided: ALS equipped ambulance; one critical care EMT, seven basic EMTs and one paramedic.
A state-of-the-art ambulance has all the newest high-tech equipment on board, including the recent purchase of a semi-automatic defibrillator heart monitor.
The department provides fire suppression, rescue and ALS ambulance services. Risks located in and about Bemus Point are restaurants, old wooden hotels like the Hotel Lenhart and the See-Zurh House, Village Casino, numerous other summertime businesses in the town and village, as well as an interstate highway with a bridge across Chautauqua Lake, an elementary school, churches, a senior citizens' housing apartments as well as a new condominium complex.
The fire chief's end-of-the-year report for 2011 shows that the department responded to 164 calls, 107 of which were rescue calls.
Traditional means of raising money to support the departments needs include breakfasts served throughout the fall and winter months, plus an annual fund drive held each year through the mailing of a newsletter,"The Patron Firefighter" to all homeowners in the district. With support from the community, the department has been able to continue to upgrade its inventory with modern up-to-date equipment.
Moneys raised through these efforts make it possible for the department to improve fire protection without added tax burden.
We need new young men and women to join. Please stop by and get acquainted with the most important organization in your community.
Visit the department's website for more information at www.bemuspointfire.org