Loan Closet solution
The Loan Closet is housed at the firehouse. Since closing dispatch, there no longer is someone regularly at the firehouse, which has created a problem with distribution. Town Supervisor Roney suggested a possible solution, whereas the town could create cold storage attached to the town highway department (DPW) building in the form of a lean-to. Skaneateles' Outreach, which is now in charge of the Loan Closet, is also located at the DPW.
"It's a long term solution," Roney said.
Field days and fundraising
The department's major fundraising effort has always been the Labor Day Fireman's Field Days. Money is most often used to purchase and update apparatus.
"Voted on doing the Field Days this year," Sells said, "But it is coming to an end. It's physically killing us."
Department officials said they have really cut their expenses, so even though the Field Days have been slower, they were bringing in similar revenue of approximately $28,000 to $29,000 with an additional $30,000 garnered from the yearly "Fun in the Sun" drawing.
Losing man and woman power
Murphy said that the department is aging, with 60 percent of the members under lifetime status. The state mandates an inordinate amount of training, which scares away new volunteers.
"I'll tell you right now, I don't have a life," Sells said, meaning all his personal time is taken up volunteering at the Fire Department. He said there were 50 calls in the month of December alone; that's up from a norm of 30 calls. They department is having to respond to calls that formerly were determined chief's investigations through the local dispatch. With that filter, they were able to send out a single car on some occasions.
Supporting the Field Days
It was noted that some restaurants and bars in town once closed on Labor Day and sent their customers intentionally to the Field Days to support the Fire Department. But now with extra business in town for the Skinny Man Race there is too much business to turn away.