George Tamborelle

Why did you join CHFD?

I joined in June of 2001 when some friends of mine who were in the department asked me if I would like to share a house with them in the district. I had been a firefighter and Captain in the Newfield Fire Company for almost 10 years and had been working at Bangs Ambulance as a Paramedic for 3 years and thought that this would be a good move. It was a fantastic decision and I have gotten so much from this department, including a wife! This has really been one of those life choices you can look back on and say "that changed everything!"

As Chief, what would be the most important piece of advice for new members?

The one recommendation that I can make to any member, new or old, in any department, is to train constantly and keep your head on straight. The camaraderie that comes from the training, responding and healthy interaction with fellow members is invaluable and something that you will carry through your life.

What do you enjoy the most about CHFD?

My favorite thing about the department are the members. We have a core group of resident members and a large number of transient members. It keeps the department fresh! Everybody in the department from the officers to the senior firefighters to the probationary members get along and work together. It is hard work but with the positive attitude from every member it stays fresh.

What is your favorite tool/piece of equipment?

My favorite piece of equipment is the volunteer firefighter. Without this dedicated person the department does not work. This person who gives up countless hours of personal and family time to respond to calls and train day or night in any weather without complaint or reimbursement. The volunteer firefighter does it for the community and their own personal satisfaction.

Mac Chasman

What is your occupation / study area?

I’m a student at the ILR School at Cornell.

How did you hear about CHFD?

Through a friend from highschool who was on a project team with an existing member. My friend and I then joined together!

What do you enjoy most about CHFD?

The camaraderie and community within the department. Some of my best friends are fellow firefighters and the bonds you form while in training and working together on calls are unlike anything else. Nothing beats kicking back with your friends after a long call or trading jokes around the room during a company dinner.

What advice would you give to prospective members?

Come ready to learn! There’s so much to know in the fire service and a good firefighter should expect to be learning throughout their entire career.

What is your favorite tool/piece of equipment?

The hydraulic rescue tool we carry on our engines. The tool can cut through and spread apart metal like butter and it’s a lot of fun to use. If you need to extricate someone stuck in a wrecked car, the rescue tool is your best friend!

Whats your best CHFD memory / moment?

I love it every time I suit up into my turnout gear and load up on an engine for a call.

Steve Felker

What is your occupation / study area?

Minister

How did you hear about CHFD?

I had parishioners whose apartment was in district, and who called me when it was lost to fire. In the course of caring for them I got introduced to CHFD.

Why did you join CHFD?

Joined in 2003. I had served 8 years in a Massachusetts VFD, and really missed it. Meeting CHFD, and learning I could join, responding from my office (I lived out of district) opened the door again to something I loved.

What do you enjoy most about CHFD?

The camraderie, and especially how it is facilitated by great leadership.

What is your favorite tool/piece of equipment?

A halligan bar

​Whats your best CHFD memory / moment?

Putting wet stuff on red stuff, followed by hanging out at station BBQ's...

Colleen Price

What is your occupation?

I am a residential property manager for Ithaca Renting Company. My office manages properties in Collegetown, with housing for more than 600 Cornell students.

How did you hear about CHFD?

My husband Joe and I met while undergrads at Cornell, and then we ended up staying in the area. About six years ago, we met a fellow alum, Jeff Hardgrove, at a Cornell function. He had a gigantic pager attached to his belt, and I was curious about it. We started talking, Jeff told us all about his involvement in the fire department: it sounded like a lot of fun. There just happened to be a recruit class forming shortly, so I decided to sign up right after meeting Jeff. Joe indulged my whim and agreed to join with me, and he is now an assistant chief here.
Joining CHFD was one of the best decisions we ever made!

Why did you join CHFD?

I had never in my life had any aspirations of being a firefighter until the afternoon I met Jeff and heard about CHFD, but we were living in Cayuga Heights and I thought this would be a great way to give back to the community and be more involved. It was something totally different, like nothing I had ever tried, and I was excited about a new challenge for myself.

What do you enjoy most about CHFD?

The people for sure!! Other members of the department have become some of our best friends. A few of us even had our children at the same time, which has been fantastic. It's so great to have such a family-friendly atmosphere. Even though we now have two small children, we are able to stay just as involved. The kids love to go and spend time there too.

What is your favorite tool/piece of equipment?

We have so many great tools, but as the Rescue Director I better pick something EMS-related: our LifePak 15 monitor/ defibrillator. It is a life-saving piece of equipment for our most critical medical emergencies.

John Gregory

What is your occupation / study area?

Agricultural Sciences student at Cornell

How did you hear about CHFD?

Through online research about fire departments in the area.

Why did you join CHFD?

I was a member of my fire department back home, and I wanted to continue doing that through college.

What do you enjoy most about CHFD?

The people. The friends you will make along the way are like no other.

What advice would you give to prospective members?

If you're going to join, be all in. Come to as many calls and trainings as possible and be engaged - it is the best job in the world.

​Whats your best CHFD memory / moment?

My favorite memories from CHFD all come from exhausting trainings or calls. Afterwards, comradery is high and everyone comes together as one unit.

Alix Gresov

What is your occupation?

I'm a recent Cornell graduate (in Entomology) working maintenance at the moment!

Why did you join CHFD?

A friend of mine passed away in a bad fire, and I want help prevent that from happening to anyone else.

How did you hear about CHFD?

I ran a Google search for volunteer departments in Ithaca. Found CHFD and liked it because of the student population, location, higher volunteerism, and receptive members.

What do you enjoy most about CHFD?

It has turned out to be so much more than just a fire department to me. I've made friends across the state taking classes, and have formed some bonds that I know will stay with me throughout my life, whether I stay here in Ithaca or move to Norway. The people here are my family, I went to classes and did homework with them, I train with them, I live with them. The dynamic of people is really amazing and there are always new people to meet. And when I thought that this would be something I could get into I had no idea that I was diving into something as deep as I am. I've learned more in two years here than I have in my four years of college (or five if you count grad school). Not just putting water on fire and pulling people out. EMT, technical rescue situations, car accidents, a lot about leadership, the list goes on.

What is your favorite tool/piece of equipment?

Rope. It doesn't sound so useful at first but there's so much you can do with rope it's just unbelievable. I've really gotten into the technical rescue side of the trade and I think that's my niche. I kept a piece of rope in my backpack throughout my Cornell classes ever since Firefighter 1 just to tie knots and fiddle with during class when I was bored.

Lucas Png

What is your occupation?

I'm a Computer Science major at Cornell

Why did you join CHFD?

For the great facebook cover photos. Just kidding. I wanted to do something meaningful and build a bond with the local community while at college.

How did you hear about CHFD?

I was taking the TCAT as a freshman, and saw the sign outside the station, stating that CHFD was looking for new recruits. So I walked in. It's the best on the spot decision I've made.

What do you enjoy most about CHFD?

The friendships and witty banter. The late night standby conversations and the wisdom experienced members impart. I am not exaggerating when I say that CHFD is a home away from home.

What is your favorite tool/piece of equipment?

The halligan. It's a very versatile and unique tool.

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