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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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 www.fmglobal.com/grants.

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.

April 27, 2017 - 2:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire services, news.

Eight local fire companies are participating in a weekend of activities, refreshments and fire hall and equipment tours in an effort to help attract more volunteers to the fire service.

Bill Schutt, an emergency management coordinator for Genesee County, encouraged people to attend the events even if their goal isn't to fight fires. There are lots of ways people can help their local departments.

"One of the first steps is to find out information about what your fire department does and what their needs are," Schutt said.

Departments need people on the administrative side, on the publicity side and on the social side, he said. All of those jobs help firefighters do their jobs better.

"(The open houses are) a great opportunity to talk about al of the different areas," Schutt said. "The fire service has changed so we’re not just the guys running to the burning building anymore. There is the EMS side, the social side, social media is a great need, general community involvement. There are a lot of areas in fire service that all could use some help."

Here's a list of open houses planned for Saturday and Sunday:

Bergen Fire Department
10 Hunter St., Bergen
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Chicken BBQ and Open House.

Bethany Vol. Fire Department
5253 Old Telephone Road, East Bethany
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Byron Fire Department
6357 E. Main St., Byron
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fire-related demonstrations; mutual aid exercises, plus blood pressure checks, truck tours and trying on gear.

Darien Fire Company
10537 Alleghany Road, Darien Center
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Auto extrication demonstration, fire extinguisher demo station, and blood pressure checks.

East Pembroke Fire Dept.
2623 Main Road, East Pembroke
Sunday, 9 a.m. to noon

Elba Fire Department
4 S. Main St., Elba
Sunday
Equipment displays and station tours.

Stafford Fire Dept
6153 Main Road, Stafford
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Town of Batavia Fire Dept.
8382 Lewiston Road
Batavia
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Refreshments, station and truck tours, auto extraction demonstration, lots of activities for the kids and much much more!

March 19, 2017 - 7:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Town of Batavia Fire, fire services, batavia, news.

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Joe Hinz was named Firefighter of the Year for the Town of Batavia Volunteer Fire Department and Steve Coburn received the President's Award during the department's annual awards and installation dinner at Terry Hills last night.

Officers installed for 2017:

Line officers: Daniel J. Coffey -- chief, Chad R. Higgins -- deputy chief, Robert H. Tripp -- first assistant chief, Paul R. Dibble -- second assistant chief, Andrew Z. Mullen -- captain, David J. Tran -- lieutenant, Paul G. Barrett -- Safety Officer.

Corporate Officers: Michael D. Jones -- president, Nathan L. Fix -- vice president, Steven C. Coburn -- secretary, Donald F. Koziol -- treasurer, and directors are Paul G. Barrett, Gary D. Diegelman, Daniel P. Jacques, Robert J. Mullen and Timothy J. Yaeger.

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Steve Coburn and Joe Hinz with department officers.

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Some of the top responders making at least 100 calls in 2016.

March 12, 2017 - 1:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford Fire Department, Stafford, fire services, news.

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Randall Henning left the Stafford Fire Department's annual installation dinner at Batavia Downs with a handful of hardware, having logged the most training hours for both firematic training and EMS training. Each of those categories have their own awards, and there's also an award for most combined training hours, which Henning won, with 191 total training hours in 2016.

The department responded to 271 calls on the year. Of those 22 were fire calls, 166 medical, 11 hazardous conditions, 15 service, 54 good intent and three false alarms.

With 165 answered alarms, Timothy E. Eckdahl had the most responses for the year.

Firematic officers installs: Brian Pocock -- chief, Stephanie Call -- 1st assistant chief, Christopher Bobo -- 2nd assistant chief, Timothy Eckdahl -- 3rd assistant chief, Michael Dorgam -- 4th assistant chief, Matt Hendershott -- rescue squad captain, Michael Dorgan -- rescue squad lieutenant, Ben Fox -- fire police captain, Stephen Johnson -- fire police lieutenant, and Mark Dougherty -- master mechanic.

Administrative officers: James Call -- president, Stephen Johnson -- vice president, Ashley Swartzenberg -- secretary, Stephanie Call -- treasurer. Trustees: James Call, Ron DeMena III, Timothy Eckdahl, Stan Gere and Matt Hendershott. Auditors: Dean Brooks and Randall Henning.

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February 12, 2017 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pembroke Fire District, pembroke, indian falls, fire services, news.

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David Olsen was named Firefighter of the Year for the Pembroke Fire District at the district's awards and installation dinner last night at Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia.

It's the first such dinner for the Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments in about 20 years.

Kevin Ross was named EMS Provider of the Year, but he was unable to attend.

The officers for 2017 are:

  • Firematic: Chief, Jamie Waff; Assistant Chief, Edwin Mileham Jr.; Assistant Chief, Greg Warren; Assistant Chief, James Garrett; Assistant Chief, Ed Swiatowy; EMS Captain-Pembroke, Kevin Ross; EMS Captain-Indian Falls, Lu Anne Mileham; Line Captain-Pembroke, Peter Sformo; Fire Police Captain-Indian Falls, Lu Anne Mileham; Training Officer, Colby Sanner;
  • Administrative officers for Pembroke: President, Greg Warren; Vice President, Randi Garrett; Secretary, Rachel Reiss; Treasurer, Brenda Swiatowy;
  • Administrative officers for Indian Falls: President, George Klotzbach; Vice President, Lu Anne Mileham; Secretary, Andrew Dibble; Treasurer, Lu Anne Mileham;
  • Directors: Brenda Swiatowy, Ed Swiatowy, Greg Warren, Autumn Waff, Randi Garrett, James Garrett, Tyler Smith, Amanda Smith;
  • Commissioners: Ron Tyx, Chairman, Heidi Librock; Secretary/Treasurer, Norm Waff; Jim Reinhardt, Colby Sanner, and Adam Schafer.

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Chief Jamie Waff received an Award of Appreciation for his years of service to the district.

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February 11, 2017 - 4:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire services, Town of Batavia Fire, batavia, chris collins, NY-27, news.

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Research released last year concluded that firefighters suffer incidents of cancer at a higher rate than the general population and Congressman Chris Collins thinks more data needs to be gathered to help researchers figure out why.

Collins is sponsoring legislation that will task the Department of Health and Human Services with creating a nationwide database to track and retain information on the emergency responses of firefighters, both career and volunteer. 

"I like to call this good common-sense legislation," Collins said during an announcement event at the Town of Batavia Fire Hall on Lewiston Road. "We know Congress is very divided these days, but this is a piece of legislation that will be bipartisan. There is no difficulty whatsoever in getting both Republicans and Democrats to step forward something that is very commonsense and very low cost."

The legislation is backed by firefighter groups both in New York and across the nation. It is in response to a CDC report (pdf) based on a study of 30,000 career firefighters in three large metro departments who served from 1950 to 2010 as well as data from 18,000 current firefighters. The six-year study found a greater number of cancer diagnoses and more cancer-related deaths among the cohort. These were mostly digestive, oral, respiratory, and urinary cancers. Firefighters may also be exposed more frequently to asbestos, increasing the rate of malignant mesothelioma.

Firefighters tend to respond to many instances where not only asbestos might be present, but a whole range of hazardous materials.

Dan Coffey, Town of Batavia's fire chief, said helping HHS gather the data may not be much of a burden on volunteer chiefs. Currently, every firefighter who responds on every call is logged and if there is suspected exposure to something hazardous, that is also logged and kept on file forever. If there are additional data points HHS requires, that may mean a little more work, but he said he would just have to wait and see about any additional burden, if any. 

He thinks the effort is worth it, he said. 

"It is very important and something that hits near and dear to us," Coffey said. "There has been a lot of discussion about higher cancer rates in this profession and certainly that would lead to a little more comfort knowing why we have higher rates and hopefully that leads to better equipment and protection and reduces the rate among firefighters."

February 5, 2017 - 3:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien Fire Department, Darien, news, fire services.

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Ray Felski, left, with Chief Jeff Fluker and former Chief China Marino, was named Firefighter of the Year for the Darien Volunteer Fire Department at the department's annual awards and installation dinner at the fire hall.

Officers installed:

  • Fire company line officers: Jeff Luker, chief; David McGreevy, 1st assistant chief; Mark Starczewski, 2nd assistant fire chief; Kenneth Fisher, 3rd assistant fire chief; William Brunea, fire police captain.
  • Fire company board of directors: Ronald Meides, president; China Marino, vice president; Michelle Krzanowicz, secretary; Ryamond Felski, treasurer; Dennis Bialkowski, Willaim Brunea, and Paul Redden, directors at large.

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China Marino, right, was honored for his dedicated service to the fire company with a custom engraved rifle. Presenting the award is Ron Meides.

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The Service Person of the Year award went to Pat Bialkowski.

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A fire apparatus company donated a check to the fire company in the name of past chief Dale Breitwieser, who died this past year.

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Gary Graber has been a member of the department for 45 years.

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Officers sworn in.

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The annual memorial this year honored Dale Breitwiser, Barbara Garigen and all who have served throughout the nation and have passed.

January 29, 2017 - 1:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy Fire, fire services, Le Roy, news.

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Craig Johnson, middle, with Tom Wood, 1st assistant chief, and Tim Hogle, chief, was named Firefighter of the Year on Saturday night at the Le Roy Fire Department's annual awards dinner and installation banquet. Johnson, the son of a 40-year veteran of the department, was also promoted to 2nd assistant chief.

The Le Roy officers for 2017 are listed below.

Firematic Officers: Chief -- Tim Hogle; 1st Asst. Chief -- Tom Wood; 2nd Asst. Chief -- Craig Johnson; Captain -- Mike Green; Captain -- Christina Marinaccio; Lieutenant -- A.J. DeFelice; Training Officer -- Craig Johnson; Safety Officer -- Joe Orlando. 

Business: President -- Mike Green; Vice President --  A.J. DeFelice; Director -- Pete Loftus; Director -- Beth Domm; Secretary -- Jim Spear; Treasurer -- A.J. DeFelice. 

Commissioners: Chairman -- Jerry Diskin; Commissioner -- Bill Wood; Commissioner -- Wayne Dressler; Commissioner -- John Johnson; Secretary -- Jim Spear; Treasurer --Stephanie Call.

Oatka Hose: President -- Dale Ehrhart; Directors -- Dave Ehrhart Sr., Frank Davis, Jim Spears Jr., Dave Ehrhart Jr., Ken Davis; Secretary -- Jim Spear; Treasurer -- Gerry Diskin.

Excelsior: President -- John Johnson; Vice President -- Rick Bater; Director -- Adam Stogsdale; Director -- Stephanie McVicker; Director -- Wendy Johnson; Director -- Mike Sheflin; Director -- Judy Purdy; Secretary -- Mike Miller; Treasurer -- Christina Marinaccio. 

Chemicals: President -- Brandon Connolly; Vice President -- Melissa Surridge; Directors -- Dan Kemp, John Joy, Wayne Dressler, Terry Kanaley, Brandon Connolly; Secretary -- Wayne Dressler; Treasurer -- John Joy.

Benevolent: President -- Gerry Diskin; Vice President -- Ken Davis; Director -- Dave Ehrhart Sr.; Director -- Bill Sealey; Director -- John Johnson; Secretary -- Jim Spear; Treasurer -- Jim Spear.

Fire Police: Captain -- Ken Davis; 1st Lieutenant -- Wendy Johnson; 2nd Lieutenant -- Dave Ehrhart Sr. 

Auxiliary: President -- Christie Miller-Main; Vice President -- Elise Bater; Secretary -- LeeAnne Miller; Treasurer -- Wendy Johnson.

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Kevin McCrary, left, received a chief's accommodation award.

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Tom Wood, center, received the Chief's Accommodation Award.

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Jerry Diskin and Ken Davis were honored for their 50 years of service to the department.

To purchase prints, click here.

January 27, 2017 - 9:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in South Byron Fire, byron, news, fire services.

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On Saturday, the South Byron Volunteer Fire Department held its annual banquet and named Chief Scott Blossom Firefighter of the Year and President Dean Bates Member of the Year. They are flanked by Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

Robert Fite, pictures below, was honored for 50 years of service.

Info and photos provided by Scott Blossom.

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January 22, 2017 - 6:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu fire, corfu, news, fire services.

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Brian Schollard, right, is sworn in as the new chief of the Corfu Volunteer Fire Department, along with rest of the officers of the department during its annual installation dinner at the Pembroke Town Hall on Saturday night.

Schollard replaces Dean Eck, who stepped down as chief after leading the department for six years. Eck, pictured below, was named Firefighter of the Year.

The department also debuted its new Class A uniforms.

Executive Officers: Steve Rodland, president; Ben Trapani, vice president; Paula Trapani, secretary; Jen Eck, treasurer; Allan Starkweather, sergeant at arms; Brad Lang, chaplain; and trustees, Bernie Fix, Justin Rodland and Ed Fauth.

Firematic Officers: Brian Scholard, chief; Greg Lang, deputy chief; Brian McMartin, 2nd assistant chief; Dean Eck, senior captain; Ben Trapani, captain; Brad Lang, captain; Mitch Bates, captain; Bernie Fix, fire police captain; Rob McNally, fire police lieutenant; Kristin Gaik, lieutenant EMS; Glenn Eck, lieutenant; Steve Rodland, lieutenant; Dan Smith, lieutenant; and Dean Eck, safety officer.

EMTs: Kristen Gaik, Cathy Skeet and Karen Lang.

Corfu Fire District Officers: Bruce Fauth, chairman; Jim Mallory, deputy chairman; Jenny McMartin-Eck, commissioner; Jim Hale, commissioner; Jim Hale, commissioner; Mark Zimmerman, secretary; and Michelle Sformo, treasurer.

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Eck, Greg Lang, Schollard, Brian McMartin

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Rob McNalley received the Fire Service of the Year award.

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Ed Fauth responded to the most calls in 2016.

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Dean Eck and his wife Jen.

January 15, 2017 - 12:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in East Pembroke Fire, pembroke, news, fire services.

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The Firefighter of the Year for the East Pembroke Fire Department is Andrew Martin, who received his award last night during the annual installation banquet for the department. He's pictured with the chiefs who selected Martin for the award, Chief Don Newton, 1st Assistant Chief Stephen Smelski and 2nd Assistant Chief Charles Chatley.

Sworn in as firematic officers for 2017 were Newton, Smelski, Chatley, William Torres as captain, Matthew Florian as fire police captain and James Gayton as training officer.

The administrative officers are Donald Newton Sr., president, Ken Marble, vice president, Joycelyn Perry, secretary, Dan Vania, treasurer, Ryan Worthington, sergeant of arms and parade marshall, Julie Waldron, assistant parade marshall and Pastor Bloom as chaplin.

Members of the board of directors are Steve Smelski, Don Newton, Jr., William Torres, Andrew Martin and Charles Chatley.

Auxiliary officers: Diane Winters, president; Shannon Ferguson, vice president; Steven Petty, secretary; Amber Winters, treasurer; Millie Marble, sergeant of arms; Gordie Petty, standard bearer; and Mary Dix, chaplin.

District representatives: Robert Yungfleisch, William Lawerance, William Joyce, Thomas Dix and Paul Fenton.

The department also received an award, presented by Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Yaeger, for most training hours -- at 1,180 -- of any department in the county.

The department responded to 330 calls in 2016.

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William Torres responded to the most calls for the year, more than 200. He responded to 212 calls.

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Chief Don Newton, who has been chief for eight years, received a gift certificate from the department to take his family on an all-expensed-paid trip to a theme park in Pennsylvania. 

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January 8, 2017 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, Alexander Fire Department, news, fire services.

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The Alexander Volunteer Fire Department held its annual installation dinner and awards presentation at its rec hall on Saturday night.

Above, Ryan Hinz, ambulance captain, and Matt Pietrzykowski, firefighter. Hinz received the Chief's Award for his efforts on behalf of the ambulance service, and Pietrzykowski was recognized for his heroics at a house fire April 30 when he pulled another firefighter from a room in a house fire who had been hit on the head by a falling beam. The firefighter was not seriously hurt, but at the moment couldn't retreat from the burning building on his own. Pietrykowski was a member of the Alexander Fast Team that day.

Alexander's Firematic Officers for 2017:

  • Marshal Merle, chief
  • Paul Hirsch, deputy chief
  • Jim Burkhardt, 2nd assistant
  • Dean Hendershott, 3rd assistant
  • Tom Green, 4th assistant
  • Ryan Hinz, ambulance captain
  • Darlene Merle, ambulance lieutenant
  • Aaron Hirsch, truck captain
  • Carl Homer, truck lieutenant
  • Lance Scharlau, training captain
  • Sean McPhee, training lieutenant
  • Nate Fix, safety officer

Administrative Officers:

  • Dean Hendershott, president
  • Tom Green, vice president
  • Amanda Donnelly, recording secretary
  • Laura Scharlau, financial secretary
  • Jackie Lowe, treasurer
  • Trustees: Sean McPhee, Tom Lowe, Darlene Merle, Amanda Donnelly, Deb Green, Matt Pietrzykowski, Ryan Hinz.

Ladies Auxiliary: 

  • Donna Rhodes, president
  • Ann Buckenmeyer, vice president
  • Kate Goodman, secretary
  • Colette Guarino, treasurer
  • Marge Kelsey, flag bearer
  • Donna Rhodes, chaplain
  • Directors: Sandy Homer, Marge Kelsey, Linda Higley

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Jennifer McPhee and Debbie Green received the Presidential Award of Service from President Dean Hendershott. McPhee and Green often volunteer to babysit the children of firefighters responding to emergencies.

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Joseph Schmider and Carl Homer were recognized for their 25 years of service by Dean Hendershott and Laura Scharlau.

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At the end of the evening, the department hands out a series of gag awards poking fun at some of the miscues of members during the course of the year. Apparently, at the time of the tractor pull, Paul Hirsch accidently knocked over a utility pole with a vehicle. He received a hat for his "new business," the Hirsch Pole Removal Service.

December 25, 2016 - 9:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire services, law enforcement.

For the past four years on Christmas Day, we've posted a photo tribute to local firefighters, using the photos from the year as a retrospective on their service to the community.  This year we've added in photos specifically of local law enforcement.

We thank the men and women who often give up time with their families or away from their jobs, and who on a daily basis put in the long hours and the hard work, whether paid or volunteer, to keep our community secure and our friends and families safe.

UPDATE: I added some more pictures from the first two months or so of 2016 that I forgot were on another computer.

November 30, 2016 - 8:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in east pembroke, East Pembroke Fire, EPFD, pembroke, news, fire services.

epfdatvnov2016-2.jpg

A new all-terrain vehicle for the East Pembroke Volunteer Fire Department will help improve the search and rescue capabilities of fire departments throughout Genesee County, EPFD Chief Don Newton said yesterday.

"This a new tool, another tool, we have available," Newton said. "I think it's a great addition for the fire services."

The only other similar vehicle available for search and rescue operations is with the Alexander Volunteer Fire Department.

Jan Schafer, owner of Buck's Motorsports in Akron helped arrange for the vehicle for EPFD as part of a manufacture's program that allows the department to get free use of the four-wheeler for a year with an option to buy it at 20-percent below dealer costs at the end of the year.

All members of the EPFD will be trained in the operations of the new vehicle, which can be used not only to rescue hunters or snowmobilers, but to help fight small brush fires.

"We need the volunteer firefighters who support our snowmobilers, our ATVers, our hunters, and at events and parades to be well equipped," said Schafer, who is an East Pembroke resident. "I think it’s extremely important that they have some vehicles like this."

There's been an increasing need in the county, Newton said, for increased search and rescue capabilities.

"In our area, Genesee County, we've been getting over the years more and more calls for lost hunters, hurt hunters in the woods, more snowmobile accidents, four-wheeler accidents and ATV accidents," Newton said.

The new vehicle will make it easier and safer for firefighters and EMS personnel to get to a person in need of rescue and more safely get the patients to ambulances or Mercy Flight helicopters, which often must land far from a rescue scene because they're in wooded areas.

Newton said the vehicle not only serves the practical purposes of search and rescue but will also be a good fundraising and recruitment tool. The department can put it on display and show people what their financial support helps bring to the community and greater search and rescue capabilities will help bring in new volunteers interested in that kind of work.

epfdatvnov2016.jpg

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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