The River Vale Fire Department is an all-volunteer department that consists of 55 dedicated men and women. It is our mission to protect the lives and property of the residents, visitors and businesses of the Township of River Vale. 


What does this mean? A company called the Insurance Services Office (ISO) rates fire departments across the country on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the highest and 10 being the lowest. Essentially, ISO rates how well-equipped a fire department is to extinguish fires effectively. Many factors are considered in the grading process such as, water supply, training, fire prevention, communications, dispatch, types and amount of apparatus size, recruitment and retention and more. Once ISO completes the evaluation for a department, they take the score and send it to each homeowners insurance company. 


Training and learning in the fire service is essential and there is always an opportunity to learn something new. Each firefighter is required to take the Firefighter One course at the Fire Academy. After Firefighter One, formal courses are optional. We also spend hundreds of hours doing in-house training, which usually consists of district familiarization, using tools, stretching hose lines, throwing ladders, etc. Our in-house drills are coordinated by our training officer. 


The RVFD averages around 300 calls for service per year. Most of our calls are for alarm activations and gas-related emergencies, but we are always prepared for fires. Calls for service usually spike around holidays and drastic changes of weather. No matter the weather, day of the week, or time of day, we will be there.


We take pride in having close working relationships with other emergency services agencies in the area. We work closely with the River Vale Volunteer Ambulance Corps, the River Vale Police Department, all fire departments in the Pascack Valley and even some in Rockland County, NY. We often work with Public Service Electric and Gas as they must respond to all gas and electric emergencies. We are grateful to work with the amazing dispatchers at Northwest Bergen Central Dispatch.