Fire Department


City of Tonawanda

Fire Department
44 William Street
Tonawanda, New York 14150

Fire Chief: Charles Stuart 
Phone: (716) 692-8400
Fax: (716) 695-6030

Radio:  Station WPJP303@460.600 mhz and
KNAO433@46.42 mhz


To improve the quality of life within the City of Tonawanda by providing up-to-date protection of life and property that meets the needs of the community through timely and prepared response to emergencies caused by fire, medical, hazardous materials, severe weather conditions, and all other natural or man made catastrophe; as well as fire prevention education programs and the use of good code enforcement practices, with the resources provided.   

    The City of Tonawanda has joined with Erie County in updating the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.  Hazard Mitigation is done to reduce the impact of natural and man-made disasters.  Mitigation also reduces the risk of loss and creates a more disaster-resistant and sustainable Community.  Hazard Mitigation measures are essential to breaking the typical disaster cycle of damage, reconstruction and repeated damage.  To view the County’s Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan, click on the link below then click on the “Mitigation Plan” tab:      

The City of Tonawanda Fire Department is classified as a “combination” type department meaning that we utilize a combination of both volunteer and career personnel to get the job done. This makes it possible to efficiently provide many types of services for all citizens and maintain a 3-minute or less response time throughout the City of Tonawanda at a minimal cost. The cost to taxpayers for running this department equals a small percentage of the city’s annual operating budget. The City of Tonawanda   Fire Department currently operates out of 2 fire stations with Fire Headquarters located at 44 William Street. While the department had always operated out of 3 separate firehouses, we recently decommissioned the third house located at 412   Young Street where it has been purchased by a private business. This was done in an effort to increase the city’s tax revenue.




 The career division is comprised of 27 members including the Fire Chief and all Command Officers.    This division is divided into a 4-platoon system and is responsible for maintaining and operating all apparatus, equipment and facilities.  Career personnel are also responsible for handling all emergency medical service requests.  A career Captain is assigned as a Municipal Training Officer (MTO) and is responsible for the department’s required training program.  Another Captain is assigned as the Fire Prevention Officer who is responsible for all fire-safety programs including building inspections, elementary school fire prevention education and code enforcement. Career personnel are hired through the New York State Civil Service competitive exam process.  With the exception of the Fire Chief, all career firefighters are members of the Tonawanda Uniformed Professional Firefighters Association Local 859 AFL-CIO.




The volunteer division is comprised of 4 separate fire companies; Union Hook & Ladder Company #1, National Hose Company #1, are located at 44 William Street. Delaware Hose Company #2 and Niagara Hose Company #3 are located at 74 Wheeler Street.  Each of these companies have been in existence for well over 100 years, all having their beginnings dating back to the 1800’s before a paid staff was established. Each company is steeped in rich history and many pictures, documents and artifacts from early last century still exist. Today, 30 Volunteer Firefighters and 12 Fire Police Officers are currently on the department roster.  Volunteer firefighters are mainly responsible for firefighting and rescue operations but many become involved with fire prevention activities, disaster preparedness and the Fire Police Unit. Volunteer personnel must first be interviewed, undergo a thorough background check, demonstrate reading and math skills as well as pass a physical agility exam before being accepted into the department where they are then voted into membership to a company. After being accepted, volunteers are required to attend Probationary and then Basic Firefighter training.  All volunteer members must then train regularly throughout their active membership.  Within the volunteer ranks are 3 captains and 4 lieutenants - firematic line officers assigned to enhance the “span of control” within the Incident Command System structure utilized by the department.  The Fire Chief, based upon their skills, leadership abilities and knowledge of department operations, selects these officers. The department is currently seeking people interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter.  Persons interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter must be in good physical condition, possess a valid NYS driver’s license and have no criminal history background.  If interested, please print your name and phone number in the “Persons interested in becoming a Volunteer Firefighter” folder located at Fire Headquarters in the Alarm Room. A department official will contact you.    Or anyone interested in becoming a Volunteer Firefighter can email our department Recruitment Coordinator, Lieutenant Mike Messana.




The Tonawanda Fire Department is authorized to assign at least 5 on-duty personnel 24/7.  In the event of a fire, this system allows for a quick response of a first alarm assignment.  Apparatus is immediately driven directly to the emergency scene where on-duty personnel are met by volunteer and off-duty career personnel who respond directly to the scene after being alerted by a pager system.  Volunteer and career firefighters work together side by side. This type of system is very efficient making it possible to rapidly deploy charged hose lines, which directly results in very minimum fire loss amounts.

 In addition to traditional fire protection the Tonawanda Fire Department also provides the following services:

  • Paramedic-Level First Response Emergency Medical Service (EMS) - Life saving medical treatments once performed only in the hospital setting are now performed on scene.  EMS response accounts for 60% of the department’s incident activity. Two fire vehicles are completely equipped as paramedic response units and all vehicles are equipped with automatic external defibrillators.
  •  Technical Rescue - Members are trained in the use of special tools, equipment and advanced techniques in order to help victims of many different types of accidents:
    • Confined Space / Low Angle Rescue and Standby Operations
    • Vehicle / Machinery Extrication
    • Ice Rescue
    • Water Rescue
    • Hazmat – 1st Responder Operations
  • Non-Emergency Response / Services– Not all calls are for emergencies. TFD provides several types of services:
    • Lock-out  / in
    • Flooded Basement Pump Out
    • Severe Weather Salvage / Recovery
    • Utilities Disconnect (when hazard is present)
    • Animal Rescue
    • Invalid Assists
    • Smoke / Vapor Removal
    • Blood Pressure Checks
    • Back-up Dispatch for Grand Island Fire Company
  • Fire Prevention / Code Enforcement FIRE PREVENTION SAVES LIVES!!! It’s a top priority and is extensively administered in several ways:
    • Code Enforcement - Public Assembly & Multiple Residence
    • Code Enforcement - School Fire Safety Inspections
    • Public & School-based Fire Safety Education Presentations and Lectures
    • Smoke Detector / Carbon Monoxide Detector Installation
    • Juvenile Fire Setter Intervention (J-FIRE)
    • Annual open-house demonstrations
  • Disaster Preparedness - the Fire Chief along with the Police Chief chair a committee made up of other concerned city residents and officials who continuously work at improving the effectiveness of the city’s disaster plan and other related concerns: 
    • Citywide Disaster Planning
    • SAVE (School Safety) Advising
    • Erie County Disaster Planning
  • Community Public Relations - TFD encourages programs that bring the fire department and the public that it serves together as much as possible.  Each firehouse is staffed by uniformed professional firefighters around the clock.  Whether someone wants to stop in to talk about a fire safety concern or just to look at the equipment, the Tonawanda Fire Department has an “open-door” policy and the public is always welcome:
    • Tours
    • Explorer Youth Group
    • Open House Sessions
    • Playground Visits
    • Boy Scout / Girl Scout Counseling
    • Babysitter Training
    • Apparatus / Equipment Demonstrations
    • Vial of L.I.F.E. Program
  • Youth InvolvementThe Tonawanda Fire Department sponsors and directs an Explorer Post.  The Explorer group, a segment of the Boy Scouts of America, is designed to teach young adults between the ages of 14 and 18 in all aspects of the firefighting profession with the hope that it stirs an interest in the fire service.  Many past members of the post have gone on to become career or volunteer members of ours or other departments.  This group keeps kids busy and involved in community service. Some activities include:
    • Monthly meetings
    • Monthly drills / training sessions
    • Yearly disaster drills
    • Competition drills with posts from other departments
    • Fire Prevention activities
    • Tours to areas of firematic interest
    • Assist department personnel with rehab and clean-up responsibilities
  • Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Classes – This life-saving skill has been taught by department personnel for over 30 years.  Many firefighters are certified CPR instructors.  Classes are scheduled according to demand.


    • CAR 12 - 2007 Ford Expedition [Chief of Department]
    • CAR 6   - 2012 Ford Expedition 4X4 [Command Car / Paramedic Unit]
    • CAR 10 - 2010 Ford Expedition 4X4 [Fire Prevention Officer]
    • CAR 11 - 2007 Ford Expedition 4X4 [Municipal Training Officer]
    • CAR 5 - (Service Truck) 2012 Ford Pickup Truck [used for snow plowing, hose, basement pump-outs, transport for extra crews to mutual aid assignments]
    • CAR 13 - 2003 Chevrolet Suburban 4X4. [assigned to Emergency Management and Fire Police]
    • RESCUE 4  – 2013 Hackney EMV
    • LADDER 1  – 2007 Crimson 100 foot Aerial Platform Quint w/2000 GPM pump
    • ENGINE 1 – 1978 American La France 1500 GPM pumper w/500 gallon tank
    • ENGINE 2 – 2003 American La France 1500 GPM pumper w/750 Gal. tank
    • ENGINE 3 – 1996 Pierce 1500 GPM pumper w/750 gallon tank
    • MARINE 5 – 2007 Titan 13 foot inflatable rescue boat [for water-based emergencies]
    • UNIT 7 – 2010 CF Moto 4x4 ATV [for off-road rescue].


Year--Total # of incidents:



 ASSISTANT  CHIEFS                    CAPTAINS             LIEUTENANTS (Vol. Div.)

 6-1 Joseph Bacon  4-1 Robert Hassett  5-1-1 Michael Messana
 6-2 Mark Schulte  4-2 Gary Pohzehl II  5-1-2 Brandon McGuire
 6-3 Michael Young  4-3 James Barber  5-2-1 Gary Phozehl III
 6-4 Christopher  Cowell  4-4 Christopher Close  5-2-2 David Nedell
   4-5 Patrick McNulty  

5-3-1 Steven Hugill

   4-6 Thomas Wolfe  
   5-1 Thomas Tompkins  
   5-2 Captain Scott Nash  
    5A  Matthew Kyler  


    • FP01 Captain Frank Corbett
    • FP02 Issac ElSharif
    • FP03 2nd Lieutenant Christopher Mobilia
    • FP04 Sergeant Andrew Wassam
    • FP05 Sergeant Robert Balcom
  • DEPARTMENT ROSTER - Career Division
    • Chief of Department: Charles B. Stuart, EMT-P
    • Department Secretary: Janet H. Sylvester
    • Captain / EMT Gary Pohzehl – Department Training Officer / MTO     
    • Captain /Paramedic Patrick McNulty – Fire Prevention / Code Enforcement Officer
  • A. Platoon:
    • Asst. Chief / AEMT -1Joseph Bacon
    • Captain / CCT Robert Hassett
    • FF / Paramedic Adam Sereno
    • FF / EMT Douglas Sprague
    • FF/Paramedic Jeffrey State
    • FF / Paramedic Donald Page
  • B. Platoon:
    • Asst. Chief / CCT Mark Schulte
    • Captain / Paramedic Thomas Wolfe
    • FF / EMT Leonard Frears
    • FF / Paramedic Joseph Briggs
    • FF/Paramedic Joshua Lapham
    • FF / EMTI Amy Newman
  • C. Platoon:
    • Asst. Chief / AEMT-1 Michael Young
    • Captain / Paramedic James Barber
    • FF  Richard Schroeder
    • FF / Paramedic Timothy Price
    • FF / Paramedic Shane Mast
    • FF/AEMT-1 John Moore 


  • D Platoon:
    • Asst. Chief / Paramedic Christopher Cowell
    • Captain/CCT Christopher Close
    • FF / EMT Dennis Angelo
    • FF / Paramedic Michael Lamp 
    • FF / AEMT-1 Timothy Newman
    • FF / Paramedic CaeSare D'Agostino 


Follow this link for important information on Fire Safety for the Holidays from the US Fire Safety Website:



          Do you, a family member or friend have Special Needs the Fire Department, Police Department, or Emergency Management need to know about?

        Please take time to fill out a SPECIAL NEEDS REGISTRY FORM and send it to the Mayor's Office or Fire Department.  Having details about your special situation will help us help you.  Need a form?  Contact the Mayor's office at 695-8645.


 The City of Tonawanda has joined with Erie County in updating the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.  Hazard Mitigation is done to reduce the impact of natural and man-made disasters.  Mitigation also reduces the risk of loss and creates a more disaster-resistant and sustainable Community.  Hazard Mitigation measures are essential to breaking the typical disaster cycle of damage, reconstruction and repeated damage.  To view the County’s Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan, click on the link below then is click on the “Mitigation Plan” tab: