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February 15, 2018 - 10:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire services, City Fire, batavia, news.


Christina Matrella demonstrates how to provide first aid to a baby who is choking for state fire officials who spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Batavia for a series of training classes.

The classes, which included a range of topics, including hazardous material, provides state officials with uniform training that they can use to better assist and support local fire departments.

There are more than 200 state fire officials now, said Deputy Chief Brian Benstead, and getting them all in one place at one time for training and meetings can be difficult, so the agency is trying regional meetings and Batavia was chosen as a location in Western New York this training session.

"This is primarily our safety training like anyone else goes through, just like any other fire department or police department goes through on a regular basis," Benstead said. "Ours is enhanced by the fact that this is how we make that connection to the local communities and how we support them."

About 20 fire officials were in Batavia for the two days, staying at local hotels and eating at local restaurants.

The training was held at Batavia's fire headquarters.

Chief Stefano Napolitano said he was proud the state chose Batavia for a meeting location.


February 11, 2018 - 11:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Bethany Fire, news, fire services.


Dan Adams was named Firefighter of the Year for the Bethany Volunteer Fire Department at the department's annual awards and installation dinner Saturday night.

Pictured with Adams are Jamie Fluker, Jeff Pietrzykowski and Jeff Fluker.

The 2018 officers are: Jeff Pietrzykowski, chief; Jeff Fluker, first assistant chief; Jamie Fluker, second assistant chief; Kyle Rombaut, captain; Christopher Page, lieutenant; Mel Davis, first aid captain; Jim Duval, first aid lieutenant; and George Larish, fire police captain.  

The board officers are: Christopher Page, president; Kyle Rombaut, VP; Corie Rombaut, secretary; Jeff Wolak, treasurer; with board directors -- Vicki Wolak, Peggy Johnson, Wayne Walker, Todd Mogenhan, Mel Davis, Bill Shea. The chaplain is Rev. Walter Whenhold.


Jamie Fluker received the Chief's Award.


The department responded to 132 calls. Jim Duval responded to 91 of those calls, the most of any member.


Greg Johnson put in 107 training hours, the most of any member.


The dinner featured a ceremony honoring all of the first responders in Bethany. A plaque will be hung in the Fire Hall that reads, "We Are All Heros."

Pictured, Jeff Fluker, Mel Davis and Peggy Johnson.



Jeff Fluker, who just finished a three-year stint as chief, and has been chief for nine of the past 11 years, received a gift from the department.


January 23, 2018 - 1:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in east pembroke, batavia, news, fire services.


Monday night is training night for most volunteer fire departments but last night in East Pembroke it was gear inspection night.

For the first time, the annual inspection was conducted in the department's new $3.5 million fire hall.

East Pembroke isn't running calls out of the hall yet. They're not quite settled in. The Internet was just hooked up today. The emergency radio has yet to be installed. And there is a lot of equipment yet to move over from the old hall. Chief Don Newton expects the new hall to be in service in about three weeks.

The department will host an open house in the early spring.

Gear inspection is all about ensuring there are no holes, tears or worn spots in any of the three layers of a firefighter's suit that provides thermal protection.  

Newton explained that East Pembroke buys three sets of gear -- boots, hat, jacket, pants and gloves -- every year. That's an annual cost of up to $17,000.  

But it's got to be done. Worn and damaged gear is a danger to firefighters and state regulations require interior firefighters to use gear that is less than 10 years old.

East Pembroke is starting to rotate interior gear every eight years. That leaves two years of life left on the old gear. It can by used by new volunteers while they go through training and it provides back up gear for a firefighter who might wind up with damaged gear before new gear is purchased.

Monday, members also brought in their Class A uniforms for inspection and inventory.


An example of a hole torn in a layer of thermal protection. This suit was being taken out of service.





The new hall has six bays, with two additional backdoors. Those two longer bays can potentially hold two trucks, giving the hall the capability of parking eight trucks.

January 21, 2018 - 4:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in South Byron Fire, fire services, byron, south byron, news.


Among the honorees at South Byron Volunteer Fire Department's annual dinner on Saturday night was Gerald Bateman, who was recognized for 65 years of service to the department. State Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley were on hand to honor Bateman's service to the community.

The 2018 firematic officers are: Scott Blossom, chief; Brian Hickey, deputy chief; Jim McKenzie, assistant chief; Chase Cone, captain; Andy Konieczny, 1st lieutenant; Matt Dougherty, 2nd lieutenant; Nicole Bold, engineer; Reggie Macdonald, fire police captain; Elizabeth Blossom, fire police sergeant; Steve Sharp, fire police corporal.

Administrative officers: Dean Bates, president; Reggie Macdonald, VP; Elizabeth Blossom, secretary; Alfred Klycek, treasurer; Bob Fite, membership chair; Al Secash, bell jar chair; Allison McKenzie, sunshine chair; Rev. Harold Coller, fire chaplain.

Auxiliary officers: Theresa Hammer, president; Beth Wilson, VP; Melody Stone, secretary; Michelle Yasses, treasurer; Irene Fite, sunshine chair; Theresa Hammer, party chair; Mariellen Blossom, chaplain.


Chief Scott Blossom presented Andy Konieczny with Firefighter of the Year and Most Training Hours awards.


President Dean Bates presented Theresa Hammer with the Member of the Year award.

January 21, 2018 - 4:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, corfu fire, news, fire services.


Corfu Volunteer Fire Department held it's annual awards and installation dinner on Saturday night.

Bernie Fix, top photo, received the Firefighter of the Year Award from Chief Brian Schollard.

The firematic officers for 2018 are: Brian Schollard, chief; Greg Lang, deputy chief; Brian McMartin, 2nd assistant chief; Dean Eck, senior captain; captains Ben Trapani, Mitch Bates, and Dan Smith; Dan Smith; fire police captian, Matt Lenard; fire police lieutenant; lieutenants, Glenn Eck, Steve Rodland, and Tyler Lang; Dean Eck, safety officer.

Executive officers are: Steve Rodland, president; Tyler Lang, VP; Paula Trapani, secretary; Jen Eck, treasurer; Allan Starkweather, sargeant at arms; Brad Lang, chaplain; and trustees, Bernie Fix, Justin Rodland, and Ed Fauth.

EMTs, Kristen Gaik, LoriAnn Santini, Karen Lang and Cathy Skeet. 

Corfu Fire District officers: Bruce Fauth, chairman; Jim Mallory, deputy chairman; Jenny McMartin-Eck, commssioner; Jim Hale, commissioner; Paula Trapani, secretary; and Michelle Sformo, treasurer. 



Paula Trapani received the Service Person of the Year Award from President Steve Rodland.


Linda Tucker was honored for 45 years of service.


Kristen Gaik put in more than 300 hours of training.


Ed Fauth was recognized for responding to the most calls.


Bruce Fauth was recognized for his effort to help the department secure a federal grant.

November 22, 2017 - 10:10am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in batavia, news, fire services.


Around 61 percent of firefighters get occupational cancer in the line of duty, according to an article in the NFPA Journal. (NFPA stands for National Fire Protection Association.)

Lieutenant Mahlon Irish Jr., of the City of Ithaca Fire Department, is one of those 61 percent. Irish was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014. Firefighters from four different counties traveled to Batavia City Centre on Monday to hear him share his story as a prostate cancer survivor.

“We have proof that there is a link between our job, whether it's volunteer or career, as a firefighter, and cancer,” Irish said. “We have proof that’s happening.”

Irish has almost 44 years in the fire service. He spent 30 years as a NYS Fire Instructor, served the City of Ithaca for more than 22 years as a firefighter and lieutenant, and past chief and current member of the Homer Fire Department.

“The risk doesn’t end when we hang up our gear,” Irish said. “Our exposure to some of these chemicals go on for [a long] time.”

Irish educates firefighters about the increased dangers of cancer. He said a lot of the information from studies he shared is relatively new.

“We did not know about a lot of this five years ago,” Irish said.  

Multiple chemicals are released in fires, including hydrogen cyanide, an extremely poisonous gas that was used in gas chambers.

“Because of what is burning today, we are seeing more and more hydrogen cyanide,” Irish said.

Fires 20 or 30 years ago were “natural fires,” mostly wood, Irish said. They are seeing more hydrogen cyanide being released, because of carpets, plastics, TVs, and other objects that are burning.

Irish spoke about the contamination of firefighters' bodies from today’s fires and how it affects them. He recommended for firefighters that go into a fire, they need to shower and wash their gear immediately afterward.

“[Chemicals] still get there,” Irish said. “They penetrate our turnout gear, our undergarments, all the way through T-shirts and gets to our skin.”

Stefano Napolitano, Batavia’s fire chief, said they are looking to enact different methodologies and techniques to reduce the exposure.

“Cancer doesn’t know career or volunteer,” Napolitano said. “Cancer doesn’t know urban, suburb and rural.”

Irish shared his story about issues of being diagnosed, his pre-and post-radical prostatectomy surgery, and the physical, mental and financial impacts of living with prostate cancer.

“I am living with cancer and I made the choice to not let this cancer negatively affect my life,” Irish said. “It has affected my life in some ways I can’t change, but I choose to make it on the positive side.”






Irish showed the audience multiple hoods, comparing them, discussing which ones would protect firefighters the best. 


October 13, 2017 - 3:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in east pembroke, pembroke, news, fire services.


The students at Pembroke Elementary School in East Pembroke learned about fire services and fire prevention today.

The participating agencies included East Pembroke fire, Pembroke fire, Indian Falls fire, Corfu fire, Town of Batavia fire, Mercy Flight, and Emergency Services.

Reader submitted photos.



October 10, 2017 - 3:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, Le Roy, Alabama, fire services, michael ranzenhofer, news.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer today has announced $415,000 in state funding for three fire departments in Genesee County. 

“Today’s announced state investment will assist local fire departments and defray a major portion of expenses for important capital projects, while preventing a higher property tax burden for local homeowners,” Ranzenhofer said.

Oct. 8th marks the start of Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme is "Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!"

“Our volunteer firefighters are dedicated, and they are working tirelessly to protect and serve our communities each and every day,” Ranzenhofer said. “This financial support will ensure that life-saving services will continue to be available for Genesee County residents, businesses and visitors.”

Fire departments receiving grants include:

Alabama Fire Department: $165,000
The Alabama Fire Department will use the funds for a major capital project to upgrade the fire hall and build an addition for storage requirements. The project includes structure repairs, new insulation and windows, replacing a 31-year-old furnace, upgrading outdated plumbing and reworking electrical systems. 

The upgrades will make the department compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and National Fire Prevention Association recommendations for personal protection equipment storage. The improvements are estimated to save thousands of dollars per year due to lower energy bills and maintenance expenses.

“Our Fire Department faces challenges – from potential emergencies from the ever increasing trucks carrying chemicals, gasoline, and ethanol through our area to anticipated growth from the WNY STAMP Project. Senator Ranzenhofer’s grant will help to update our aging infrastructure. This state funding allows our volunteer firefighters to be better prepared, without passing additional costs to local property taxpayers,” said Alabama Fire Department President Robert Crossen.

The total cost is projected to be $236,000. A groundbreaking is tentatively planned for January. The project should be completed in six months.

Stafford Volunteer Fire Department: $150,000
The funding will be used for facility upgrades at Stafford Fire Department, including:

• Replacement of the original fire station roof;

• Improvements to damaged blacktop; and

• New energy-saving LED exterior lighting.

“Stafford Fire Department is very appreciative of the efforts of Senator Ranzenhofer in securing these much needed funds. We have been a financially secure organization for many decades with low town taxes due to our very successful antique car raffle. Supposed changes to the enforcement of charitable gaming laws have brought that to an abrupt end, burdening our local taxpayers. These funds will help our organization’s ability to respond at peak levels,” said Stafford Fire Department President James Call

The project is expected to start in April and be completed by next September. The project’s total cost is estimated at $225,000. 

Le Roy Fire District: $100,000
The Le Roy Fire District is planning to acquire land to expand parking and storage areas for fire safety equipment. The existing fire station – located at the intersection of routes 5 and 19 in the Village of Le Roy– is virtually landlocked, limiting the District’s capabilities. The existing parking area lacks enough spaces for firefighters to park their personal vehicles during an emergency response call.

“By acquiring property, the opportunity for future expansion will be assured, while meeting the immediate safety needs by providing zones for both emergency personnel accessing apparatus and the general public during operations from the station. Receiving this grant will allow us to complete the preliminary work and provide the needed additional financing to extend a purchase offer on the property,” said Le Roy Fire District Commissioner Gerald Diskin.

September 28, 2017 - 3:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire services, emergency management office, news.


Press release:

Fourteen area firefighters successfully completed 32 hours of Rope Rescue Operations Level training held at the Genesee County Fire Training Center.  The program, instructed by NYS Fire Protection Specialists, concluded on Sept. 24.

This course provided information and developed student skills to adequately perform basic vertical rope rescue techniques in an urban/suburban environment. The overall objective of the Rope Rescue course is to improve rescuer awareness of the safety concerns at rope rescue situations and to develop basic skills in rappelling and high-angle rescue systems. 

Genesee County’s Rope Rescue team is one of the specialized rescue teams supported by the county.

September 26, 2017 - 1:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire services, Oakfield, news, notify.


When the Oakfield Fire Department signed up eight new members a couple of years ago and then came to the village with a request for $18,500 to buy gear for the volunteers, Mayor Jason Armbrewster started to rethink how fire services are funded in Oakfield.

"Eight new members, that should be great news," Armbrewster said. "But to us as a board, we’re like, 'How are we going to come up with $18,500?' That’s when I was like, 'Why should we be controlling that destiny? Why should new members be a hindrance to our fire department?' ”

The village held a public hearing last night -- more of a fact-finding and public feedback process -- to explore the idea of getting the village out of the fire department business and forming either a fire district or a fire protection district.

One village resident wanted to know if this idea would save residents money.

"It’s not about saving money," Armbrewster said. "It’s about providing a better service."

Trustee David Boyle pointed out the idea could help provide both better fire protection and better services through the village for residents. He said the village has already had to cut other services just to keep the fire department going.

Currently, the fire department is part of the village and the Town of Oakfield contracts with the department for fire protection outside the village, paying for it with its own fire district. The fire district is a separate tax for town residents. The town accounts for more than 50 percent of the fire department's budget.

If the village decided to go ahead with the idea, it would need to decide whether to set up a fire district, which would need to happen jointly with the town, because it would cover both the town and the village, or a fire protection district, which would cover only the village. Then both the town and the village would contract with the Oakfield Fire Department (or conceivably, some other department) for emergency services.

The struggles for the department now include replacing aging fire apparatus, maintaining the fire hall at a cost of $18,000 a year, and recruiting volunteers.

Ambrewster said in his talks with other departments where recruiting isn't as difficult, good equipment and recruiting seem to go hand-in-hand.

Dan Luker, a longtime member of the Oakfield department, said he had one simple question: Why?

He said his mind wasn't made up on the proposal, but he was skeptical of the need.

"I don’t see where changing the structure of raising taxes is going to change people wanting to volunteer," Luker said.

Trustee John Igoe said he is also on the fire department board and he isn't sure the fire department will survive under the current arrangement.

Igoe, who said he will abstain on any vote on the proposal, said insolvency in a couple of years is a real possibility. 

"It comes to the point that maybe we have to look at shutting the doors because we don’t have any more money to keep the light and heat on because what we receive as a department isn't enough," Igoe said.

No decisions were reached at the meeting, but after two years of kicking the idea around, Armbrewster said a decision needs to be made soon.

"I either want to move ahead or say we’re not going to do this," Armbrewster said.

Photo: John Igoe and Jason Armbrewster.

UPDATE Sept. 26 5:15 p.m.: John Igoe's name was corrected in the story; it is not John Igor. The Batavian regrets the error.

September 24, 2017 - 8:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, corfu, fire services.


Press release:

Corfu Firefighters have put into service 13 new SCBAs purchased through the federal government’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Awards.

The Corfu Fire District was successful in securing the grant through efforts of Rosalie Mangino-Crandall and her Insights Grants Development Company. She donated her time for the Corfu project which is greatly appreciated by the department. 

The newest and latest model of SCBAs replaced our outdated 1997 NFPA edition SCBAs that have been costly to repair and were at the end of their life cycle. The grant enabled the district to purchase 13 complete units and one mask integrated radio Bluetooth. The total cost of the grant is $88,400, with the district’s share of $4,209.

This will ensure our firefighters are well protected and have the latest technology available to them for the foreseeable future at a small cost to the taxpayers of the Corfu Fire District.

September 22, 2017 - 11:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, news, fire services.

Press release:

The Village of Oakfield will be holding a public hearing at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 25th, at Village Hall, 39 Main St. in Oakfield.

The purpose of the public hearing is to hear public comments the possible creation of a Fire Protection District or a Fire District that would encompass the Town and Village of Oakfield with the Oakfield Fire Department that would provide a better service to them and allow the Fire Department to become its own taxable entity or contract its services to local municipalities.

The Oakfield Fire Department is currently owned and operated through the Village of Oakfield and its budget with fiscal support from the Town of Oakfield. The Village would like to seek the input of the public, including, but not limited to, the Village and Town of Oakfield residents, to better decide if this process is in the residents' best interest. 

This is the first step toward beginning this lengthy process.

If it is decided to be in the residents' best interest, more public hearings must occur. Joint meetings between the Village of Oakfield, Town of Oakfield and the Oakfield Fire Department must occur in the case of a Fire District as all entities need to be in a formally binding agreement, which will, in turn, be subject to public permissive referendum.

In the case of a Fire Protection District, the Village and Town may have a fire protection contract with the Oakfield Fire Department separately as it will become its own entity.

All parties that are interested in attending will be given the opportunity to speak in front of the Village Board of Trustees if they so chose.

NOTE: This is a corrected version with some language changes sent over by the village. It was copyedited for AP Style and clarity.

September 13, 2017 - 8:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, fire services.

Press release:

Today the House unanimously passed legislation introduced by Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) that would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and maintain a registry to collect data regarding the incidence of cancer in firefighters. H.R. 931, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, is the first step in addressing the detrimental health effects firefighters may experience when responding to fire emergencies.

“Sixteen years ago yesterday, on September 11th, 2001, we witnessed a horrible tragedy that will leave an impression on generations of Americans forever,” Congressman Collins said. “Through this tragedy, we witnessed the heroic actions of America’s brave first responders working and volunteering in the days and weeks to come. We lost many first responders during those attacks of 9/11 and we continue to lose more every year from ongoing health effects."

“Passage of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act is a major step towards improving the health and safety of our brave firefighters across the nation who head into danger despite the risks and keep our communities safe," said Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), who co-authored the bill. "The least we can do is seek to better understand the connections between the job firefighters do and risk of cancer, so we can then help mitigate those risks.”

A 2015 study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) determined that U.S. firefighters had a greater number of cancer diagnoses and related deaths than the general population. This study’s findings were determined by a small sample size, reflecting the enormous gap in research when it comes to the incidence of cancer in these men and women. Collins’ Firefighter Cancer Registry Act would ensure greater and more specific data was collected by establishing a comprehensive database.

“After NIOSH’s 2015 study, it was clear something needed to be done to ensure our nation’s firefighters had the best resources and equipment available to mitigate potential future health risks. This bill will help us study this deadly trend and the information we gather will determine what needs to be done to improve safety protocols for these brave men and women," added Collins.

If signed into law, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act would authorize $2 million in federal funds to the CDC from FY2018 to FY2022. Data gathered would include a number of potential risk factors, including but not limited to the status of the firefighter (volunteer, paid-on-call, or career), number of years on the job, the number of incidents attended, and the type of incidence. The collection of this data would allow for improved equipment, enhanced safety protocols and preventative techniques for our firefighters.

Earlier today, Congressman Collins spoke to the importance of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act on the House Floor

“This registry will go a long way towards improving quality of life for the men and women who devote themselves to saving lives,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (OR-02). “Coming from a region of the country currently being ravaged by wildfires, I am constantly appreciative of the men and women who go into these dangerous situations of fire and smoke to protect others. This national registry is another way for us to do more to protect them.” 

"The IAFC thanks Representatives Collins and Pascrell for their leadership in securing passage of H.R. 931, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2017,” said Chief Thomas Jenkins, International Association of Fire Chiefs president and chairman of the board. “This legislation will help researchers to better understand the link between firefighting and cancer and help the nation’s fire service fight this significant health threat."

The Firefighter Cancer Registry Act was advanced out of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health on June 29, 2017 and was passed out of full committee on July 27, 2017. The next step in advancing this legislation is passage in the Senate.

For more information on H.R. 931, Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, click here.

August 9, 2017 - 10:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire services, news.


Press release:

Christina Marinaccio and LoriAnn Santini, members of the Genesee County Emergency Support Unit (ESU) recently traveled to Pueblo, Colo., to attend the FEMA funded Crude by Rail Emergency Response (CBR) training program. 

The program took place on July 24, 25 and 26 and provided the first responders basic knowledge, skills, and abilities to respond to incidents involving crude by rail.

The program, delivered over three days, included more than 60 percent of field exercise. The CBR program covered the history of crude oil, chemical and physical properties of the different crude oil transported, basic site and damage assessment, tank car design and construction.

Additional subjects included: tactical product control methods including the application of firefighting foam agents; water and spill control procedures; planning for crude oil incidents and the environmental impacts.

The practical evolutions include a demonstration of crude oil fires, boil overs, and foam applications as applied to crude oil incidents by rail and advanced firefighting techniques. The practical evolutions culminate in a full-scale derailment exercise.

To date, six Genesee County Hazardous Materials team members have completed the CBR program.

July 27, 2017 - 6:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, fire services, news.

Press release:

Congressmen Chris Collins (NY-27) and Bill Pascrell (NJ-09) authored a bill that would require the CDC to develop and maintain a registry to collect data regarding the incidence of cancer in firefighters, which today advanced through the Energy and Commerce Committee. This piece of legislation addresses an enormous gap in research conducted on the heath impacts of a career of firefighting. Firefighters may experience detrimental health effects due to smoke inhalation and other harmful substances, and this legislation takes a first step toward developing new protocols and safeguards for these men and women.

“Firefighters are some of the bravest among us and more needs to be done to keep them safe,” said Collins. “This legislation has the potential to lead to methods that save the lives of the courageous men and women that keep our communities safe. I’m humbled by the strong bipartisan support we have received and look forward to getting this bill on the House floor.”

“When the brave men and women in the fire services enter dangerous situations they do not stop to ask whether they are subjecting themselves to long-term health risks. They do whatever is necessary to keep our communities safe. That is why we must have their backs," Pascrell said.“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average firefighters are at higher risk for certain kinds of cancer when compared with the general population. Further public health research on this topic is needed so we can start working to find ways to alleviate this risk. That is why I am thankful Representative Collins and Pallone brought up the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act in the Energy and Commerce Committee today and look forward to passing it on the House floor.”

A 2015 study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that in the U.S. firefighters had a greater number of cancer diagnoses and cancer-related deaths. Unfortunately, this study was limited in scope by a small sample size, yet the proposed legislation would establish and improve collection infrastructure and activities to collect a greater abundance of data.

The next step for the bill to become law is the passage on the House floor. For more information on the Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, clickhere. To read the text of H.R. 931, Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, click here.

July 20, 2017 - 10:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, corfu, Alexander Fire, corfu fire, fire services, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $92,994 in federal funding for the Alexander Fire Department. The grant was awarded through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, which is designed to help first responders improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.

“Firefighters are selfless individuals and are essential to keeping our communities safe,” Congressman Collins said. “It is imperative that our fire departments have the resources necessary to keep their members safe while they are protecting others. I was proud to work with the Alexander Fire Department to secure this crucial $92,994 in AFG funding and thank them for their service.”

The Alexander Fire Department will use this $92,994 federal grant to purchase 15 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) air packs and 30 oxygen bottles. This will provide the Alexander volunteer firefighters with breathable air when responding to an emergency situation.

"This funding will help keep our firefighters safe and ensure they can properly respond to emergencies in the local community. We are strong supporters of the AFG grant program and will continue to work with Rep. Collins to support this important funding,” said Alexander Fire Chief Marshall Merle.

The AFG Grant Program provides direct funding assistance to fire departments, State Fire Training Academies, and non-affiliated EMS organizations to enhance their response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of both the public and emergency response personnel with respect to fire and all other hazards.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $84,191 in federal funding for the Corfu Fire Department. The grant was awarded through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, which is designed to help first responders improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.

“Firefighters answer a noble calling to put the lives of others before their own,” Congressman Collins said. “It is imperative that our fire departments have the resources necessary to keep their members safe while they are protecting others. I was proud to work with the Corfu Fire Department to secure this crucial $84,191 in AFG funding and thank them for their service.”

The Corfu Fire Department will use this $84,191 federal grant to purchase 12 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) air packs. This will provide the Corfu Fire Department with breathable air when responding to an emergency situation.

"This funding will allow us to purchase necessary equipment that we might otherwise not have the resources to replace. The federal AFG program is an important funding source for rural departments like ours. We will continue to work with Congressman Collins regarding issues impacting local fire departments in our region," said Corfu Fire Chief Brian Schollard.

The AFG Grant Program provides direct funding assistance to fire departments, State Fire Training Academies, and non-affiliated EMS organizations to enhance their response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of both the public and emergency response personnel with respect to fire and all other hazards.

May 13, 2017 - 6:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in emergency services, batavia, fire services, news.


Area volunteer firefighters and staff from Emergency Services were at Kiwanis Park in Batavia this morning to learn about setting up a system of booms over water that would be deployed in the case of an oil spill.

The idea is, say, a tanker overturns and accidentally dumps its cargo and it flows into the Tonawanda Creek, which could cause significant environmental damage, including damage to farm fields.

The booms would float on the top of the water and divert the water into an outlet where it could be collected for proper disposal.

The boom system is deployed with a rope gun and consists of booms that are each 50-feet long and can be locked together.

The instructor was David Sweeny, of Gallagher Marine.








May 6, 2017 - 5:08pm
posted by Destin Danser in batavia, news, fire services.


Marty C. Phelps was lain to rest today in Batavia with military and fire department honors. Phelps served 25 years with the City of Batavia Fire Department and was a strong advocate for fire prevention. He also served 50 years as a volunteer firefighter with various departments, was a veteran of the Army, and founder of the Medina Railroad Museum. Click Here to view complete obituary. 

Photos provided by Destin Danser Photography.






May 6, 2017 - 9:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire services, batavia, news.

m_phelps.jpgFormer City of Batavia firefighter and a 50-year veteran of the volunteer fire service, Marty Phelps will be remembered today with a full-honors funeral procession down Main Street with a pass by the City fire station on Evans before winding up at St. Joseph's on Main Street.

The Army veteran was involved in many community organizations and was the creator, director and conductor of the Medina Railroad Museum.

A giant flag will be held aloft across Main Street at St. Joe's by City Ladder 15 and Town of Batavia Ladder 25.

The route begins at the Michael Tomaszewski funeral home, 4120 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, at 10:30 a.m., proceeds east down Main Street, onto Ellicott Street, to Evans Street, to Maple, to Jackson, to Ellicott, to Swan, to Main, to Summit.

Traffic diversions are being set up now at some locations along the route.

For the full obituary for Marty Phelps, click here.

May 1, 2017 - 12:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire services, emergency management office, news.


Press release:

The Genesee County Emergency Management has received a $2,600 fire prevention grant from FM Global, one of the world’s largest commercial property insurers.

FM Global representatives presented the award to Genesee County Office of Emergency Management, which will be accepting the grant award at a presentation at the Fire Training Center, located at 7690 State Street Road, Batavia. It will be used to help fire investigators more efficiently investigate and determine the cause of a fire.

Because fire continues to be the leading cause of property damage worldwide, during the past 40 years FM Global has contributed millions of dollars in fire prevention grants to fire service organizations around the globe. Locally, the company has awarded grants to a number of New York-based organizations.

 “At FM Global, we strongly believe the majority of property damage is preventable, not inevitable,” said Michael Spaziani, manager of the fire prevention grant program.

“Far too often, inadequate budgets prevent those organizations working to prevent fire from being as proactive as they would like to be. With additional financial support, grant recipients are actively helping to improve property risk in the communities they serve.”

Through its Fire Prevention Grant Program, FM Global awards grants to fire departments — as well as national, state, regional, local and community organizations worldwide — that best demonstrate a need for funding, where dollars can have the most demonstrable impact on preventing fire, or mitigating the damage it can quickly cause.

To learn more about FM Global’s Fire Prevention Grant Program, or to apply for a grant, please visit

For nearly two centuries, many of the world’s largest organizations have turned to FM Global to develop cost-effective property insurance and engineering solutions to protect their business operations from fire, natural disasters and other types of property risk. With clients in more than 130 countries, FM Global ranks #561 among FORTUNE magazine’s largest companies in America and is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best and AA (Very Strong) by Fitch Ratings. The company was named “World’s Best Supply Chain Risk Insurance Provider” in 2014 by Global Finance magazine and was voted “Best Commercial Property Insurer” in Business Insurance’s 2013 Buyers Choice Awards.


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