Clay volunteer firefighters reflect on years of service

Saxton has been involved in emergency medical services for about nine years and said responding to a call is like "second nature." His passion for helping people has been put to good use in his position as a paramedic at Fort Drum.

David Barardi, 61, said he has recognized a commitment to help the community during his 12 years as a volunteer firefighter. The relationships he has found with his fellow firefighters has reinforced that commitment, he said.

"You know your crew members, you can rely on each other," Birardi said. "Community is a big thing, we're very fortunate."

Going on 38 years of service to the CVFD, Sam Solitto, 70, said doing a service to the community is the main part of being a volunteer firefighter in the town of Clay.

"The most important thing, I believe, is a doing a service to the community," Solitto said. "People count on us."

Solitto said every call comes in because "someone could be hurt or deceased" and it's the job of the volunteers to "help in anyway they can, even if it's helping someone cope with a loss."

Do you have what it takes?

"Anyone is welcome to stop by and observe," Chief Ford said. "If they're unsure, they can talk to the guys and find out if this is really for them."

Ford said the crew is all about "working together, being out responding to a call and serving the community."

For the CVFD members, Ford said all fire gear is supplied and training services are also provided with no out-of-pocket expenses. There is a small property tax incentive for all CVFD members and a pension program that increases with added years of service, he said.

Community members interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter for the town of Clay can call 652-4242 on Tuesday nights between 6:30 and 10 p.m.

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