Fire Department and University mark 10 years of volunteer firefighter program

Thursday, Sep 26, 2019

Emily Aronson, Office of Communications

When the Princeton Fire Department sounded the alarm for more volunteers, Princeton University responded to the call. In fact, University employees have responded to nearly 1,950 fire and rescue calls over the past 10 years as part of a unique partnership.

The Princeton Fire Department Associate Member Program allows University employees to volunteer as firefighters during their work shifts, augmenting the municipal department’s ranks during critical daytime hours. The University volunteers respond to emergencies both on and off campus.

The program launched as a pilot in 2009 as the fire department experienced a decline in members, particularly during the day when volunteers were busy working, many far from Princeton. While University employees and students have long volunteered on their own with the fire department (as well as the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad), the program was the first formal partnership of its kind between the University and Princeton Fire Department.  

“A University associate is a full member of the Princeton Fire Department and is rightly considered a Princeton firefighter on equal standing with those who live in Princeton,” said Princeton Councilman and Fire Commissioner Tim Quinn. “There’s no doubt the University program has enabled the fire department to remain all volunteer for longer than it would have otherwise. This has allowed the municipality to hold down taxes and utilize revenue for other services.”

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