Volunteer firefighters thrive on thank you’s

Upstate public safety officers and volunteer firefighters, Stephen Mauser, Jess Brown, William O'Connor and Dominick Albanese.

Upstate public safety officers who also serve as volunteer firefighters include Stephen Mauser, Jess Brown, William O’Connor and Dominick Albanese.

Several Upstate employees extend public service into their private lives, as volunteer firefighters. Meet seven public safety officers who do:

Dominick Albanese, 21

Moyers Corners Fire Department.

Experience: almost 2 years

Roles: interior firefighter. “My duty is to respond to the fire house and provide service to every call, no matter the nature, that we are dispatched for.”

Time investment: “I do about three calls a day, so it turns out I provide about 30 hours a week.”

Aspiration: “I want to become a police officer. Providing service to my community and being the ‘help’ that people call for is/was my dream.”

Reward: “I love helping people. Seeing the smiles on their faces after providing the service needed is great. Other than that, I love the adrenaline rush when entering a burning building.”


Troy Barrett, 21

Moyers Corners Fire Department

Experience: 5 years

Time investment: about 20 hours per week

Aspiration: Make a career of firefighting.

Reason: family tradition


Jess Brown, 49

Minoa Fire Department

Experience: 25 years

Roles: firefighter, first responder

Best part: “Being there to help.”


Evan Buschbascher, 28

Liverpool Fire Department

Experience: three years

Roles: interior firefighter, first aid

Reason: I am all about the community. I love helping out the people of the Town of Salina. It is something different every time the bell rings.

Time investment: 15 to 20 hours per week

Reward: Nothing is better than when you are at someone’s house to assist them, and they say ‘thank you for coming.’


Stephen L Mauser, 58

Moyers Corners Fire Department

Experience: 40 years

Roles: fire captain, dive team, under water recovery team, driver, fire police lieutenant, paramedic

Inspiration: “My father was a volunteer with MCFD in the 1960’s. At the age of 18, I witnessed MCFD operate during a serious fatal car accident. The way they all worked as a team and used all of their power tools was just amazing. I knew then I wanted to be a part of this fire department helping the public.”

Time investment: “It’s hard to say. We drill weekly, along with specialty drills or classes on any given day, plus we get called out any time 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Memory: “I delivered a baby solo one time, and it was one of the greatest days of my life to be a part of actually help bringing life into the world.”


William O’Connor, 22

Marcellus Fire Department

Experience: 8 years, including junior firefighting

Roles: firefighter, fire prevention education, emergency medical technician

How he began: “My family has a history of becoming both career and volunteer firefighters, so I guess you could say it is in my blood. My parents always taught me to help others when in need and give back as much as possible.”

Best part: “Not only do I have the opportunity to help my community, but my fellow firefighters are like a family. We are always there for each other, whether someone is moving or needs help fixing their house. Cooking dinner around the fire house and sitting at the table is just like sitting at home–except for maybe some jokes that mom probably would not be fond of.”


Richard Powell, 39

Camillus Fire Department

Experience: “I have been a volunteer here for about 1 ½ years, but I volunteered with a fire department in North Carolina outside of Charlotte for about 10 years.”

Position: scene support, emergency medical technician

Time investment: about 20 hours per week.

Why: “I got into the fire/emergency medical services back in 1994, but really got involved in 1999 after my mother passed away of a massive heart attack at the age of 50.”

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