Dawn Klingner has been a member of the Amenia Fire Department since 2006. She first started as the fire district’s secretary, and after some encouragement from the fire chief, she decided to join as a volunteer member. “I started by taking the fire police class and loved it,” she says. “After that, I signed up to take an EMT class and I wanted to learn as much as I could to make sure I could provide those services and be the helper for those that need it.” 

Dawn says that she finds it incredibly comforting to be able to serve as a friendly, familiar face for those in a time of need. “We don’t always have good outcomes, but to be there for whatever reason is important. I feel like I’ve been put into this position to really help people and be there for them in their time of need.” 

Dawn says that while all calls are memorable, there are some that stick with her forever. “All calls have special meaning, but there will always be those calls that are memorable in your mind, sight, and in the palm of your hand. I will always hold onto the dear memories of those we’ve lost.” 

For Dawn, being a volunteer is a family affair. Both she and her husband Chris, as well as their two children are part of the Amenia Fire Department. “Joining the fire department is an excellent opportunity, not just for one member of the family, but it brings us together and I feel like it’s given us the opportunity to do so many more things together. There’s a place for everyone,” she says. “It’s unique when you show up on a call and you have all of us there. The whole Klingner clan just shows up. That’s the most rewarding part for me.” 

Dawn notes that there are a lot of challenges that the EMS field is faced with right now, including the dire need for volunteers. “You can’t control when someone is having a medical emergency. You just have to know that you’re always on call. But anytime there’s an emergency situation going on, you just have that desire to jump in and help.” 

Outside of her work with the fire department, Dawn and her family are deeply ingrained in the community. She serves as the town clerk and tax collector for the Town of Amenia, and she’s also the court clerk for her husband, Chris Klingner, who is the town justice. “We’re truly community-based and community-oriented.” Additionally, since 2013, Dawn hosts the blood drive and has been involved with fire prevention programs at the local schools. 

She and her husband are also CPR instructors and encourage everyone to get certified. “If we can make everyone CPR certified, so they know the signs that are needed in an emergency situation, they can recognize it, be timely, and start their compressions. It can save a life.” 

Dawn says that while being a volunteer can be incredibly stressful, it’s also massively rewarding. “If anyone can understand what it’s like to be woken up in the middle of the night to help someone and you have to immediately be on your game, it’s so stressful, but it is truly rewarding and fulfilling.” 

To learn more about the Amenia Fire Company, visit their Facebook page here. 

Amenia Fire Company
36 Mechanic St, Amenia, NY 12501
(845) 373-8467