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Inside the Nation's Only Home for Retired Firefighters
Since 1895, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York has operated a home and nursing facility for retired volunteer firefighters.
Since opening in 1895, more than 3,000 volunteer firefighters have passed through the iconic front gates of the Firemen's Home of New York. (Photos by David Kidd)
The new Firemen’s Home is a state-of-the-art skilled home and nursing facility that can house up to 100 retired volunteer firefighters.
Alan Olsen served in the St. James Volunteer Fire Co. for 52 years before moving into the Firemen’s Home. He likes to work in the Home’s backyard garden.
Graham Vandall, who served in the Port Jefferson Volunteer Fire Company for almost 60 years, is the keeper of the Home’s model train room.
Vandall shows off the Home’s model train room. The Home also houses a recreation room and a pool table.
Augustus “Steve” Buttafucco served more than 30 years in the North Babylon Volunteer Fire Company before moving into the Firemen’s Home in 1994.
Among Buttafucco’s hobbies is photography and collecting American Indian paraphernalia.
Once a working farm, the Firemen’s Home barn now hosts a variety of events, including meetings of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, which owns and operates the Home.
The cemetery at the Firemen’s Home, available to any member, looks out over the Hudson River Valley.
The Firemen’s Home grounds is home to the FASNY Museum of Firefighting, which houses a spectacular collection of antique fire trucks and firefighting equipment.
An early version of a “hook and ladder” fire truck; note the totally open cab, which made fighting fires during the winter in New York particularly challenging.
Some early firehouses included elaborate architectural detail depicting everything from the job of firefighting to the founding of a nation.
“We really are a family -- residents and staff,” says Firemen’s Home administrator John O’Donnell.
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