Gerritsen Beach Vol. Fire Department

Organized in 1922, Gerritsen Beach operates as the only remaining volunteer fire department in the NYC Borough of Brooklyn. Serving a densely populated residential & commercial community located on a peninsula with narrow streets, GBFD’s 25 volunteers answer an average of 300 alarms providing Fire, Rescue & BLS level EMS protection.








Ambulance - 2003 Ford/MedTec

Operating as “93-Charlie” in the FDNY*EMS Community Based EMS radio system (the volunteer EMS agencies operating within New York City), this BLS equipped rig was provided through funding by Senator Marty Golden. ALS is provided by career FDNY*EMS paramedics operating out of the Coney Island EMS station.

Engine 1 - 2001 HME/Darley 1000 gpm/500 gal.

Featuring four wheel drive coupled with a short 30’ wheelbase designed to fit into the tight streets of their response area, this rig acts as GBVFD’s stand-alone apparatus. Seating six (three with SCBA), it is equipped with two additional SCBA, a CO meter, “Indian Cans” (for brush fires) and a ProPak foam pack. For rescue operations, it carries a Power Hawk battery operated extrication tool & two rams (to begin initial extrication until the arrival of an FDNY ladder, squad or rescue company), full BLS gear including an AED, backboard, Stokes basket, SKED stretcher and water rescue equipment.

Special thanks to FF Pat Klein & FF Danny Cavanagh for their hospitality and assistance in positioning the apparatus and providing background information on the department’s operations. 

The GBFD operates from this small two bay firehouse housing their entire fleet. Meetings, training & social events are held in the memorial hall across the street which was the original firehouse until 1993 when land for the existing firehouse was donated. The pull box seen on the front of the firehouse is not actually a fire alarm box - members are alerted to alarms using pagers & text messaging with the first arriving member operating the pull box to manually activate the house siren on the roof.

This street view illustrates the unique target hazards found in Gerritsen Beach’s response area. Closely spaced homes on narrow streets create a tremendous potential for extension to the exposures - when faced with a structure fire, GBVFD’s members work closely with the FDNY to protect the exposures and limit fire spread.