About Us

Founded in 1924, the Houghton Volunteer Fire Department has a long tradition of service to Houghton, the town of Caneadea, and neighboring communities in Allegany County.  Some members of the department also served in New York City during the aftermath of 9-11.  The department is responsible to the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Town of Caneadea.

Our members include a broad range of ages and vocations united in serving this community.  If you live in this community, we probably include some of you r neighbors, friends, or relatives.  We include people from all walks of life, from college students to retirees.  We include teachers, professors, maintenance professionals, office workers, nurses, pastors, security officers, network administrators, et cetera.  We could even include you!

Services Provided

Most people think of firefighting as the primary service provided by a fire department.  However, the growing complexity of technology and our culture has expanded the scope of operation of the HVFD to include providing:

  • Emergency medical services at both Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Life Support (ALS) Intermediate level 
  • Motor vehicle accident scene control and rescue
  • Emergency traffic control
  • Automatic fire alarm investigation
  • Life Line inactivity and "help needed" investigation
  • Emergency basement pumping and other flood control
  • Wildland search and rescue in cooperation with the DEC
  • All of the above as mutual aid when requested by neighboring departments
  • And even occasionally rescuing a cat from a tree.

Facility

The department operates out of a single-story fire hall located at the north end of the hamlet of Houghton off State Route 19. The building was formerly a bowling alley, but now serves as a facility for the departments trucks and operations.  In addition to the four truck bays, it also has a meeting room used for training, meetings, and other fire department functions, as well as a few community functions.  On election day, it is also the polling place for the hamlet of Houghton.

Equipment

The department operates four emergency response vehicles:

Houghton-1 (H-1)

The primary general response vehicle, Houghton-1 is a 1,500-gallon pumper-tanker built in 2003. The extended cab will transport five firefighters, four of which can don their SCBA enroute because they are mounted in their seats.

Houghton-6 (H-6)

Designed for specialized support roles and personnel transportation, Houghton-6 is a 1992 International rescue truck with an air cascade system for refilling SCBA tanks, "Jaws of Life" hydraulic cutters and spreaders, and a high-powered light tower for scene illumination.  The extended cab, like H-1's cab, can transport five firefighters and has four seat-mounted SCBAs.

Houghton-8 (H-8)

The most commonly dispatched vehicle, Houghton-8 is a Type III ambulance built in 2000 to replace the previous ambulance which went out of commission after the August 2000 flood.

Houghton-9 (H-9)

One of only four aerial ladder trucks in the county and the only one in the northern half, Houghton-9 is an 85-foot aerial ladder truck with an elevated platform.  The powerful 2,000 GPM pump can supply the volume of water needed at major fires, though its 500-gallon tank must quickly be supplemented with water from a hydrant system or a pumper/tanker relay.  The aerial platform provides a safe and effective means of operating at the tall college buildings as well as providing roof access at residential structure fires.