The Schenectady Permanent Firemen’s Association (SPFA), formed on March 17, 1917 , serves the benevolent and social needs of the members of the Schenectady Fire Department and their families. The SPFA‘s mission is to ensure the well being of its members and to be a respected neighbor to the residents of our city.
Throughout our nearly 100 years of history, the SPFA and its members have been very active in our community. Whether it be conducting CPR classes to the residence of Schenectady or teaching fire safety procedures to the children in our schools, our members make it a point to give back to our city. It is a tradition of the SPFA to reach out to members of the community that may be experiencing tough times. Not only does the SPFA reach out to families in need during the Christmas Season, but we try to be there anytime there is a need due to an unfortunate event such as fire or accident that may devastate one of our fellow citizens. But many residents of Schenectady are not aware of one of our major accomplishments, that is helping to finance the construction of Sunnyview Hospital.
One day in the early 1920′s, Dr. A.R. Warner and Fire Chief Henry R. Yates, while enroute to a Kiwanis meeting, observed a crippled child dragging himself along the street. This motivated them to establish a hospital for crippled children in Schenectady. On December 6, 1926, a lease was signed on a house at 124 Rosa Road. But, on December 12, 1926 only four days before the first patients were to move in, the house burned.
The SPFA immediately began a community fund drive which, in less than two months, successfully collected $50,000 for a new hospital. One year later, the cornerstone was set by Dr. Warner. Deputy Fire Marshall Sanford Alberts assisted him.
The Sunnyview children were also the focal point of another Association community activity – The Annual Christmas party. Each Christmas the children were brought to the lobby to watch the arrival of Santa Claus on a big red fire truck. Santa Claus distributed presents that were donated by the fire fighters. These parties continued until the early 1960′s when a cure was found for polio, thereby lessening the number of children patients at the hospital. Although Sunnyview has since been designated as a regional rehabilitation center the Schenectady fire fighters continue their affiliation with the hospital. The SPFA Annual Bass Fishing Tournament, that is held every June along the Mohawk River, has become a major fund raising event for our members.
Another organization that the SPFA is very involved with is the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Firefighters raise money for the MDA through out the year by conducting our annual Boot Day drive in September, hosting a MDA Lock up in February and selling raffle tickets at our Family Picnic Day. The firefighters also participate in the United Way’s annual fund drive.
The Schenectady Permanent Firemen’s Association is committed to serve our members and our community in the finest tradition of the fire service.
This Web Site is dedicated to all career Schenectady Fire Fighters – past and present. The common thread that binds us together, from the horse era to the present time, is our steadfast devotion to protect the lives and property of the citizens of Schenectady.
The SPFA proudly supports the following:
Loan Fund Administrator