Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

fire services

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
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
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.


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.




Steve Coburn and Joe Hinz with department officers.


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.


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.


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


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.


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



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


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.


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.


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


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


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


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


Officers sworn in.


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.


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.



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


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


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.


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.



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


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.


Eck, Greg Lang, Schollard, Brian McMartin


Rob McNalley received the Fire Service of the Year award.


Ed Fauth responded to the most calls in 2016.



Dean Eck and his wife Jen.

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


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.


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


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. 




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


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


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.


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


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.


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.


November 8, 2016 - 1:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, Alabama Fire, fire services, news.


Alabama Volunteer Fire Department held its annual awards banquet and installation of officers.

Sid Eick achieved the rare distinction of winning both the Service Award, selected by the chief, and the Fireman of the Year Award, selected by the previous three winners of the award.

Eick has been active for 44 years and is currently a captain.

Several members were also honored for their years in service, including Gloria Abrams and Barbara Lee Hendershott for 15 years, Robert Eick for 20 years, Todd Thompson and Jeffrey Sage, for 30 years, and at 50 years -- Henry Brunea.

Brunea received a watch and a citation from Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

The installed fire officers are: Chief -- Gary Patnode; 1st Assistant Chief -- Nikkolas Bruner; 2nd Assistant Chief -- William Schutt; Captains -- Patrick Buczek &  Sidney Eick; Lieutenants -- Aron Kehlenbeck & Ashley Covel; EMS Captain -- Richard Brunea; EMS Lieutenant -- Terry Thompson; Fire Police Captain -- Ryan Thompson; Health & Safety Officer -- David Kinney.

Service officers: President --Robert Crossen; Vice President -- Patrick Buczek; Treasurer -- Anthony Mudrzynski; Secretary -- Michelle Patnode; Financial Secretary --Rebecca Borkholder; Board of Directors -- Henry Mudrzynski, Rick Brunea, Edwin Schoenthal, Donald Sage, & Gary Patnode Sr.; Chaplain -- Ralph Bauer; Bell Jar Secretary -- Clayton Fry.

The theme of the event was "Prom," so of course, there were Prom King and Queen and their Court. Prom King -- Tony Mudrzynski; Prom Queen -- Jo Anna Benaquist; Prince -- Ryan Thompson; Princess -- Jenna Wozniak; Jester -- Chad Pratt.

Photos and info provided by Alison Thompson.



September 23, 2016 - 10:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, fire services, news.


August 22, 2016 - 8:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, oakfield fd, news, fire services.


Press release:

The Oakfield Honor Guard returned Saturday, Aug. 20, from training with the staff of Sgt. Kenneth Newton, the 37th  Colors Sergeant of the President’s Own Color Guard at Marine Barracks “8th and I” in Washington, D.C.  The Guard trained in flag etiquette and drilled in ceremonial marching and maneuvering techniques.

“The knowledge that we received was certainly second to none,” 2nd Assistant Chief Randy McIntire said. “From the very beginning, Lance Corporal James Shay and his staff, made our visit a priority. Just being in the presence of these Marines was a great privilege. It seemed that every Marine, from Lance Corporal to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert B. Neller, knew that the Oakfield Fire Department’s Honor Guard was ‘on deck’ and they were truly pleased to provide this training opportunity to us.”

The Honor Guard, consisting of Jeffery McIntire (lieutenant and former staff sergeant in the Marine Corps), Sean Downing and Randy McIntire (assistant chiefs), Casey Arnold, Tyler Hamm and Nate Klos (firefighters), also traveled to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to experience the changing of the guard. At the completion of the change, the Guard was afforded the privilege of interviewing Staff Sgt. Massey, 3rd Relief Commander, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He spoke of the dedication and commitment of the Tomb Guards and answered many questions.

On completion of Friday’s training, the Oakfield Fire Department Honor Guard’s Lt. Jeffery McIntire presented a plaque thanking the Marine Barracks Color Guard Platoon for the opportunity to train with them and Chief McIntire read and presented a letter of thanks from the Village of Oakfield’s Mayor, Jason Armbrewster. Both of these items were gratefully accepted by Sgt. Newton on behalf of the Commandant and an invitation for the Honor Guard to return in the future was extended. Oakfield Fire Department T-shirts and patches were presented to members of the training staff.

The Honor Guard was treated with VIP passes to the Commandant’s Friday Evening Parade. The evening started in the presence of veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, each a guest of a Marine stationed at the Barracks. VIP seating was provided at mid-field for the parade. The “President's Own” Marine Band, the Commandant’s Color Guard, and Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, and the post’s A and B companies of approximately 200 Marines including the Silent Drill Platoon performed a number of patriotic musical pieces and demonstrated precision military drill. 

The Oakfield Fire Dept. Honor Guard is working toward the capability of assisting Genesee County fire departments in providing dignified services should a line of duty death occur. The Honor Guard formed following the Chief of EMS and firefighter Barry Miller’s death in the line of duty.

“We are grateful to our department for financially sponsoring our trip. We are thankful for donations made by H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, M&S Tactical Solutions and First Choice Travel,” Assistant Chief Sean Downing said. “Support from the Village of Oakfield and the Town of Oakfield was also appreciated.”




August 7, 2016 - 10:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire services, agriculture, batavia, news.


It's been a long time since there was a grain bin incident in Genesee County, which is one reason a training session for volunteer firefighters at the Fire Training Center on State Street Road was so important yesterday, said Jim Bouton, one of the county's emergency management coordinators.

"It's important to keep up your skills and learn what has been working and not working over the years," Bouton said. 

Saturday's training was conducted by Dan Neena, director of the National Education Center for Agriculture Safety. The training session was co-sponsored by the Genesee County Farm Bureau and some local farmers attended, as well.

A farm worker might enter a grain bin because the top has become encrusted or for other maintenance work, and if he or she falls into the grain, can easily become trapped.

A rescuer can't simply grab a person buried in grain and pull him or her out.

"Once you’re trapped in the grain, the deeper you are, the more pounds that have to be exerted to release the person," Bouton said. "If we were try to pull a farmer who was trapped up to his neck, it would take like 650 pounds of pressure to try and pull him straight out. Well, that’s not possible."

Neena showed rescuers how to use a modular tube that is fitted around the victim's body, sunk into the grain, and then grain can be removed with an auger to suck the grain out of the tube, allowing the person to climb out of the grain.

The other danger for firefighters and the victim is that a grain bin is a confined space, which means potentially lower oxgyn levels, so rescuers need to be aware when breathing aparatus is required.

Firefighters were also trained how to use an especially designed saw for the task, to cut vents in the side of the grain bin so that grain can be released from around the person.

To learn about becoming a volunteer firefighter in your community, visit







June 24, 2016 - 2:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, fire services, news.


Information and photos submitted by Glenn Adams.

Yesterday morning, City fire along with a group of volunteers from other departments in the county, participated in water rescue training at DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia.

The boat and motor and gear were purchased with a grant from Homeland Security.

The first two shots include Ryan Hendershott of the Bethany department and DJ Pollock.

CORRECTION: Only members of City fire participated. Hendershott is a city firefighter and a Bethany volunteer.



May 17, 2016 - 6:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barry Miller, bergen, fire services, news, Milestones.

Press release:

Barry G. Miller has been posthumously designated as a recipient of the New York State Senate Liberty Medal by State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer.  

The New York State Senate Liberty Medal is awarded to individuals who have merited special commendation for exceptional, heroic or humanitarian acts on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers. He was tragically killed last September in an ambulance accident on his way to a fire call in the performance of his duties as an emergency responder.

“As a first responder, Barry acted with bravery in many emergency situations. He was dedicated, loyal and compassionate to his family and our community,” Ranzenhofer said. “Barry made the ultimate sacrifice while faithfully executing his responsibilities as an emergency responder. It is so fitting for the State Senate to pause in its deliberations today to honor him and his family with a Liberty Medal.”

Senator Ranzenhofer joined members of the Miller Family earlier in the day for the New York State EMS Memorial Commemorative Ceremony. During the special ceremony, Miller’s name was placed on the memorial in remembrance of his ultimate sacrifice, along with the names of other EMS personnel from across the state.

“Our family is completely honored and in awe of the honor presented to my son,” said Miller’s father, Tracy Miller.

Miller held the title of Chief of Emergency Medical Services in Bergen. For more than three decades, he was a member of the Bergen Fire Department. Miller was also a member of Leadership Genesee Class of 2008. He was the owner of Miller’s Millworks in Bergen and the Beaver River Lodge in the Adirondacks. He also worked for several years at Rochester Eye and Tissue Bank.

May 5, 2016 - 11:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, schools, education, fire services, dwi drill.


Pavilion High School hosted its annual DWI drill for seniors in advance of the prom to remind students about the dangers of drinking and driving.

The drill simulates a fatal DWI accident with the cooperation of the Pavilion Fire Department and Sheriff's Office. Mercy EMS, the coroner and volunteers from Bethany and Wyoming also participated.












Subscribe to




Copyright © 2008-2016 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button