90th Anniversary Journal

Dear Neighbors,

This fall the Gerrittsen Beach Fire Department will be celebrating its 90th anniversary. Since the department’s founding in 1922 the Vollies have responded to thousands of fire and medical emergencies in Gerrittsen Beach. In order to celebrate this momentous anniversary the Department needs your help! We willbe compiling photos and stories of the Vollies from yesterday and today.

Everybody who has ever lived in Gerrittsen Beach has seen the Vollies in action whether it be a summer brush fire, investigating odors, operating at a car accident or even in your own house treating your family or plugging a broken pipe. In order to make this journal a success we need to hear your stories. Please share any photos or personal stories you may have with us so we can document the past ninety years of Brooklyn’s only Volunteer Fire Department. If any business or individual is interested in lending a hand in funding this endeavor, we will be selling different size ads in a journal. Please see the attached journal ad contract for more info. Journals will be available at our 90th Anniversary Dinner which will be held on October 20th at AOH Hall 2750 Gerritsen Ave. More information is to follow on this event.

Also, please share this with your friends. Many past residents who have moved out of the area may have great stories to share. The Internet is a great tool for reaching people both near and far. Please encourage people to like our Facebook page and check out our website GBFD.net to stay up to date on Department news..

Please send any photos, stories, ad inquiries or questions to Pat Klein at journal@gbfd.net or drop them off at the Fire House, 52 Seba Ave Brooklyn, NY 11229. If you are unable to contact us by email feel free to call the department’s business phone at 718-332-9292 and leave a message with the dispatcher on duty. We will be more than happy to come to anyone’s house to pick things up and we will arrange a time to return them. Remember no piece of your Vollies history is too small or too big to share just as no situation is too big or too small for your Vollies to handle.



Drowning Prevention: Layers of Protection

Open Water

Boaters! Before Getting Underway:

Know your boat and know the rules of the road.

  • Take a safe boating course.
  • Check your boat for all required safety equipment.
  • Consider the size of your boat, the number of passengers and the amount of extra equipment that will be on-board. DON’T OVERLOAD THE BOAT!
  • If you will be in a power boat, check your electrical system and fuel system for gas fumes.
  • Follow manufacturers suggested procedures BEFORE starting up the engine.
  • Wear your life jacket – don’t just carry one on board.
  • Leave alcohol behind to increase your safety and decrease your risk.
  • Check the weather forecast.
  • File a float plan with a member of your family or friend.


Since most drowning victims had no intention of being in water and since most people drown within 10-30 feet of safety, it is important that you and your family learn to swim well.

Please remember:

  • Never rely on toys such as inner tubes and water wings to stay afloat.
  • Don’t take chances, by overestimating your swimming skills.
  • Swim only in designated swimming areas.
  • Never swim alone.

Drowning Fatalities:

According to the Center for Disease Control, each year over 3,400 people drown in the United States. Drowning is the SECOND leading cause of accidental deaths for persons 1-14 years of age and the sixth leading cause for all ages.

What is really surprising is that two-thirds of the people who drown
never had an intention of being in the water!


Never dive into lakes and rivers…the results can be tragic. Every year, diving accidents result in thousands of people suffering paralyzing spinal cord injuries and many of them die before they reach the hospital. All too often, hidden dangers lurk beneath the surface of the water, even in shallow water, including current, rocks, and debris.

Watch Small Children!

  • Center for Disease Control statistics show an average of over 800 children under the age of 15 drown each year. Thousands of others are treated in hospitals for submersion accidents, accidents which leave children with permanent brain damage and respiratory health problems.
  • Remember, it only takes a few seconds for a small child to wander away. Children have a natural curiosity and attraction to water.

Alcohol- The Fun Killer?

  • It’s a fact; alcohol and water do not mix! More than half of all the people that are injured in a boating accident had consumed alcohol prior to their accident and 20% of them don’t live to tell about it.
  • Being intoxicated is not necessary for alcohol to be a threat to your safety. Just one beer will impair your balance, vision, judgment and reaction time, thus making you a potential danger to yourself and others.
  • Research shows that four hours of boating, exposure to noise, vibration, sun, glare and wind produces fatigue that makes you act as if you were legally intoxicated. If you combine alcohol consumption with this boating fatigue condition, it intensifies the effects and increases your accident risk.
  • So remember, don’t include alcohol in your outing, if you’re planning to have fun in, on, or near the water.

Wheelchair Exchange

Wheelchairs - Getty Center

Do you need a wheelchair? Do you have a wheelchair you no longer need? How about crutches? Shower chairs? Canes?

Well if you need or can donate please give us a call at 718-332-9292



Recently there have been fires in our area that may have been cause by careless smoking.

More people die in fires started by carelessly discarded or abandoned smoking materials such as cigarettes butts and cigarette ashes than any other type of residential fire. Fires caused by smoking materials often smolder, sometimes for hours before the first flame. For most people who died in residential smoking fires, escape was made more difficult because they were asleep. The most common materials to first ignite are mattresses and bedding, followed by trash and upholstered furniture.

If you or anyone in your home smokes, make your home and neighbors home safer:

  • Do not throw butts into the streets or yards.
  • Use large deep ashtrays and check them frequently.
  • After entertaining in your home always check on, between and under upholstery and cushions and inside trash cans for cigarette butts that may be smoldering.
  • Completely douse cigarette butts with water before discarding
  • Don’t smoke in bed or lying down, especially if you are drowsy, medicated or have been drinking alcohol.
  • Consider additional smoke alarms in your home, specifically a photoelectric type, which is the most reliable for smoldering type fires.

If you see or smell smoke, gas call us immediately at 718-332-3333 , take the time to save this number in your phone!

Join us for our Open House!

This weekend is our open house and we are going to have a community BBQ (weather permitting) stop by and see what are are doing for the community.

The Gerrittsen Beach Fire Department is opening its doors to area residents, so they can learn about what it takes to be a volunteer firefighter in their community, as part of an initiative brought to you by FASNY with a program called Recruit NY. Over the last several years, it has been very tough for many fire departments throughout New York State to recruit and retain volunteers for a variety of reasons. Like most volunteer fire departments, the Gerrittsen Beach Fire Department needs to bolster its emergency responder numbers, so it can continue to provide the optimum level of protection for its residents. Now more than ever, they need more of their neighbors joining their fire department.

On Saturday, April 21th & Sunday, April 22th between 1pm – 4pm, the Gerrittsen Beach Fire Department located 52 Seba Avenue will join in an initiative with volunteer fire departments all across the state at their respective firehouses for a unified recruitment drive, as part of National Volunteer Week 2012. Not only will Recruit NY be an opportunity to highlight the duties and rewards that come with being a volunteer firefighter, it will also raise public awareness about the need for volunteers. The hope is that a collaborative effort among volunteer fire departments statewide will turn the declining number of volunteer firefighters around.

We are coming to an end of our annual Fund Drive, Golden donor this year is $85.00 and every donation counts towards our fundraising efforts. Please send whatever you can as soon as possible. If you have already donated this year, thank you. You will be receiving your fund drive sticker in July, after our fund drive is closed for 2012.