Representing Fire Service Volunteers Since 1899
Welcome to the Western New York Volunteer Firemen's Association
Our campaign is being managed by CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS, INC. They are a local company bonded and licensed with New York State, with 46 years of experience in fundraising management. They use telephone contacts, direct mail, and email their efforts on our behalf. The funds are used to pay for the various activities this organization undertakes on behalf of the fire service in Western New York, including college scholarships.
If a department or Exempt Association loses a member you do not have to wait until late spring to add the name to the necrology list. You can send in a name at any time to:
Alan Way - Chaplain
I will enter all names as I receive them as I already have the 2022 memorial service necrology list started -Thank You!
History of the Western New York Volunteer's Fireman's Association
In the year 1899, a few volunteer firemen representing larger cities and villages in Western New York got together in Lockport and held an informal meeting with the idea of forming an organization for the purpose of promoting closer friendship among the various fire companies and providing assistance in improving their respective operations in the Volunteer Fire Service.
Mr. Joseph M. Hoffman of the Active Hose Company of Lockport, New York is credited with being the prime mover in setting up early meetings and could be unofficially considered the father of the Western New York Volunteer Firemen’s Association (he served as our President in 1928 – 1929). From the seeds sown at the first meeting “Western” was born. Mr. Hoffman sent letters to the various Fire Companies in the Western New York area inviting them to send representatives to a formal meeting to pursue the formation of the Western New York Volunteer Fireman’s Association.
This meeting was held on Sunday, November 12, 1899, in the carriage rooms of the Active Hose Company of Lockport, New York. Mr. Hoffman hosted and opened the meeting, explaining its purpose, and Mr. Daniel J. Brown, of the DeWitt Clinton Hose Company of Lockport, served as Secretary. At the meeting, it was decided to officially organize a Western New York Volunteer Firemen’s Association.
Temporary officers were elected as follows: President – Mr. William J. Rogers of Tonawanda; 1st Vice President – Mr. J.W. Larkin of Brockport; 2nd Vice President – Philip I. Brust of Medina; Secretary – Daniel J. Brown of Lockport and Treasurer – George F. Thompson of Middleport. Three committees were appointed: one to draft a Constitution and By-Laws; one to solicit membership, and one to select a site to hold a Convention.
The roll call representatives at this meeting numbered 32 fire companies from Lockport, Niagara Falls, Brockport, Depew, Middleport, Medina, Spencerport, Albion, Tonawanda, and North Tonawanda. Counties represented were Erie, Monroe, Niagara, and Orleans. A second meeting was held in the Village of Albion on January 18, 1900 to explain the objectives of the Association to the firemen of Orleans and Monroe Counties. At both of these meetings the attending who paid dues of $1.00 comprised the Association and were officially listed as charter members.
The appointed Site Committee chose Lockport as the place for our first Convention. At that time, Lockport Fire Department’s Annual Parade and Inspection was held on the second Wednesday in June so the Convention was planned to coincide with the annual function. The date was June 13, 1900.
At the first convention, the official Convention meeting date was changed to the last Tuesday in July.
As taken from the 100th Anniversary Program Book of the W.N.Y.V.F.A.