Volunteer name: Stephen Dorfman
Organization: New City Fire Department
Stephen Dorfman, 21, of New City is currently enrolled as a student at Farmingdale State College in Long Island, N.Y. Born in Nyack, Stephen's family settled in New City and Stephen has lived there ever since.
When at college, Stephen volunteers at the local Long Island fire department. His passion for fire fighting and community service in general echo throughout his responses in the following interview.
Why did you choose to volunteer?
I enjoy protecting and giving back to my community. It also kept me active
How did you get started?
My father was giving out his annual award for his company liberty mutual at the Rockland County Volunteer Fireman Association Convention for fire prevention and invited me as a guest. I fell in love with the fire department and join the explorer's post 44 at 14. At 16 I was able to join New City Fire Department.
How do you make time to volunteer and do all the other things you have to do?
The Fire Department explains to me my priorities. They were school, family and then firehouse. I was able to hang at the firehouse or respond to emergencies when all other business I had was taken care of. Toward the end of high school when I finally was able to drive and get a car, I responded and receive an award for making over 250 fire calls. My family understands the sacrifices I had sometimes had to make but as long as I did well in school, they were happy.
Do you plan to make volunteering a part of your life in the future?
Volunteering is part of my life. My grandfather started me volunteering with him through his Jewish War Veterans. I worked with the veterans making gift packages for troops fighting the war. I also joined the fire department and the ambulance corps. I participate in Relay for Life and Avon walk for breast cancer every year. Through my volunteering at these different agencies, I volunteer for more. One year I did Keep Rockland Beautiful and within the past few years I became an active blood donor, donating at least eight if not more times. I don't see any problem volunteering in the future.
Stephen mentioned how volunteering for the New City Fire Department is "the best thing in my life." When reflecting on his high school experiences with the department, he recalls how drastically his life changed when joining the fire department: "I didn't just learn about fire fighting. I learned about cooking, cleaning, and so much more."
When asked whether he intended to continue volunteering at the New City Fire Department, Stephen responded: "whether volunteering or professional, I intend to do this for the rest of my life."