Photo submitted
Members of the Old Forge Fire Department stand on the new refurbished OFFD Dive Boat

Dear friends of the OFFD,
Your Old Forge Fire Department and Ambulance Service has been serving the community since 1907, from the humble beginnings of 21 volunteer members to the more than 100 strong members of today. The OFFD is one of three departments that comprise of the Town of Webb Fire District, protecting the Town of Webb. TOW is the largest town in New York at 482.9 square miles with a resident population of less than 2,000 which swells to an estimated 35,000 during the summer season.
With the great influx of visitors to the Town of Webb area comes an increase in fire, rescue and EMS calls. From brush fires to helicopter rescues off Bald Mountain to snowmobile accidents at 20 below zero, we answer the call.
What you may not know is that the OFFD also has a dive team. Over the past four years we have been working to update dive equipment and advance training to better prepare for and address water emergencies. This process began with department funding and Herkimer County resources, but it is only with the help and support of the community that we have succeeded. The donations we receive from the hard-working citizens of Old Forge have helped us to greatly advance our dive team. We purchased desperately needed dive equipment and completely refurbished the OFFD Dive Boat, a feat that was much overdue. This boat serves as our dive platform for rescue and recovery missions as well as for weekly dive training exercises.
The OFFD and Ambulance service would like to sincerely thank the following exceptional donors for their contributions and assistance in making this possible: Michelle Palmer at North-South Connection who provided greatly needed materials; Dennis Michaels who dedicated his time, material, and welded for us; The Woman’s Auxiliary; The Adirondack League Club; and The Enchanted Forest Water Safari.
We would like to give a great thank you to all those who helped make this possible: Father Shane Lunch, Barb Winslow, Richard and Calvin Risley, John Russell, Hans and Hanson Schmid, John Weedmark, Dave Langworthy, Dave Babcock, Brandon Palmer, Carl Tormey and all others who gave up their time to refurbish the now fully-functioning dive boat.
We greatly appreciate your support.
Volunteers needed
If you are 16 years of age or older and want to help your community, stop by the firehouse on the first Wednesday evening of each month (6:30 p.m.), contact any member or give us a call for more information.
If the worst happens, do you have an escape plan? If not, now is the time to establish your family’s fire escape plan. Every room should have two means of escape. Make sure windows can open and are not painted shut and that children know how to open them. An exit route, without having to open a bedroom door, is important.
Decide on a family meeting place away from the house: Perhaps a neighbor’s house, another building on your property, or a large oak tree across the street. Wherever it is, make sure everyone knows where it is and how to get there safely. Never go back into the house.
Special needs?
Do you or a member of your family have any special needs like a physical handicap, or use home oxygen? Please let us know. You can add a note to your contribution receipt or call the fire station. Be sure to provide your name and physical address.
Don Haehl
Lt. OFFD dive unit