Bunker Program

The Varna Volunteer Fire Company (VVFC) is a 100% volunteer operated not-for-profit organization which provides fire protection and emergency medicine to residents of an area of approximately 17 square miles in the westernmost portion of the Town of Dryden, NY. Our district is just minutes from Cornell University Campus and the City of Ithaca.  VVFC receives roughly 300 calls for service per year which include fires, motor vehicle collisions and medical emergencies.  

About Bunkers

VVFC is always accepting applications for Fire and EMS “bunkers.” Bunkers are fully trained and certified firefighters and/or EMS providers who live in our state-of-the-art Bunk House, located adjacent to the fire station on VVFC property. Bunkers are required to be available for emergency calls 40 hours per week and bunkers must be within 5 minutes from the fire station during all duty hours and must be on property for 24 hours per week. Bunkers are afforded a generous amount of vacation time each calendar year.

About the Bunkhouse

The VVFC Bunkhouse was built in 2009 and offers state-of-the-art amenities including a fitness room, spacious common areas, radiant floor heating, endless hot water, cable television, high speed wireless Internet, video security systems, free parking & on-site laundry facility all of which are available to bunkers at no cost. Each bunker is entitled to their own private bunk room secured with keyless entry access code. Each bunk room is furnished with a double bed, dresser, and desk. 

Our Requirements

VVFC will accept and review applications for review from anyone interested, however preference will be given to candidates who are interior firefighters in the State of New York or who are New York State certified Emergency Medical Technicians.  If you are interested in becoming a bunker and are currently enrolled in EMT or Firefighting classes or would like to attend such classes, we encourage you to apply.  Candidates must be energetic, outgoing and must work well with others. Candidates must be motivated and will be expected to participate in the operation of the company by attending meetings and trainings, helping to organize and staff community and other public relations events, volunteering to to serve on advisory committees, etc. In general, bunkers are expected to respond to more calls and attend more trainings than traditional members.  We anticipate the Bunker Program to become highly competitive and bunkers will be required to adhere to a strict code of conduct or will be immediately dismissed.

What You Should Know

The average age of bunkers is currently 21. Applicants should be comfortable living in a house composed of mostly college-aged individuals and that lifestyle.  It is important that candidates make a favorable impression to the current bunkers and department members.  Also, before accepting a position candidates should be aware that if they are not in strict adherence to department and bunker program policies and procedures, said contract will be terminated and they will have 7 days to remove their belongings from VVFC property and find alternate housing.  If a bunker is a college student and expects to leave for the summer, they will likely be required to vacate their bunk room and take their belongings home or move them to storage.

The Process

1. Fill out a membership application. Membership applications can be obtained by emailing us at info@varnafire.org.

2. Once we receive your application, an officer will set up a time to meet with you informally and show you around the fire station.

3. If the Office of the Fire Chief chooses, they will recommend you be accepted into general membership to the Board of Directors.

4. If you are accepted as a general member by the Board of Directors, you will be provided a special application for the Bunker Program.

5. Your application for the bunker program will be reviewed by the Fire Chief and Bunker Committee. This committee may wish to interview you formally before approving you as a bunker.

6. Once approved, training will begin immediately and you will be provided access codes and be permitted to move in.


If you have any questions, feel free to contact Bunker Committee Chair or Chief. They can be reached by e-mail: info@varnafire.org