CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham Township Volunteer Fire Department, with stations on River Road and Southern Boulevard, has kicked off its 2015 Fund Drive and its first membership drive in over 15 years.

“With our fund drive now starting in March instead of October, we’re providing residents an opportunity to donate earlier; and with two follow up reminder mailings, the added chance to contribute when convenient,” announced Vice President Gary Sagendorf.

Chatham Township is blessed with two outstanding all-volunteer fire departments. The Chatham Township (CTVFD) and Green Village Volunteer Fire Departments (GVVFD) are independent non-profit agencies that rely heavily on donations.
 
 
In 2014, percent of township residents contributed to the Chatham Township Volunteer Fire Department.  Sagendorf is confident that 2015 will net better results through a better-informed public.
 
“We’re all volunteers.  Nowadays, with our community so transient, I think the notion of an all-volunteer force goes unnoticed since most residents likely expect their fire department to be staffed by career firefighters with all related costs included in their taxes.  That’s simply not the case,” Sagendorf said.  He added, “ As a result, our need to educate the public about our operation is a constant challenge on top of providing our primary firefighting duties.”

 
The department is also pleased to offer an easy way for residents to donate online via paypal:  www.ctfd.org/donate.
 
Sagendorf also mentioned the need to enhance the ranks with new volunteers.  “I’ve been a volunteer since 1983.  It’s very rewarding and challenging at the same time.  We need members who are willing to get trained and who can put in the time to serve their community.  We’re all too familiar with people’s time constraints but volunteerism in our community is absolutely critical in keeping taxes under control, which is why if you can’t volunteer, your donations are even more important,” said Sagendorf.
 
Interested residents over 18 years of age and those between 16-18 years of age are encouraged to email the department at membership@ctfd.org to inquire about becoming a firefighter or junior firefighter respectively.
 
Residents will soon see signage around town encouraging membership as a volunteer and donating to the 2015 Fund Drive.
 
For general information regarding the Chatham Township Volunteer Fire Department, please email info@ctfd.org.