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indian falls

August 9, 2016 - 12:19am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, pembroke, indian falls, news.

A pickup truck is in a ditch after an apparent rollover accident at Alleghany (Route 77) and Indian Falls roads. There is air bag deployment. Apparently, there are injuries. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments and Mercy Medics are responding. Mercy Flight is called to 7908 Alleghany Road, to the parking lot of the Indian Falls Methodist Church. 

UPDATE 12:57 a.m.: Didn't hear the destination of Mercy Flight or any word on injuries. The assignment is back in service.

July 18, 2016 - 7:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, pembroke, news.

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A reader submitted this photo of four young men taking a break while diving at Indian Falls, as one looks at the memorial marker for Bradley Augustin, the 22-year-old Buffalo resident who drowned at the same location last week.

July 13, 2016 - 11:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, pembroke, accident, news.

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UPDATED 9:30 a.m., Thursday, July 14.

An adult male visiting Genesee County from Buffalo died this evening in a drowning accident at Indian Falls.

The victim has been identified as Bradley Augustin, 22.

State Police are handling the investigation and no foul play is suspected.

Witnesses and first-responding firefighters said there were about 30 people at the falls tonight swimming and jumping into the water, even though Genesee County's moderate drought conditions have left the Tonawanda Creek with low water levels.

Triniti Morris, from Hamburg, was among the swimmers. She said people were having a good time and then somebody mentioned somebody was missing, and other people were saying, "no, no, nobody's missing."

One of her friends then spoke to a young man who seemed to be having trouble swimming and he said he was OK.

About five minutes later, somebody noticed he was missing.

Another male dove into the water and located him and several people helped pull him onto the rocks, at which point another young woman began giving him CPR.

Morris said the woman performing CPR got the victim to throw up and she thought the victim had started breathing when paramedics, she said, instructed the woman providing CPR to turn the victim on his left side. At this point, Morris said, two State Troopers arrived and ordered everybody to leave the scene, including the woman performing CPR.

Morris was concerned that nobody continued CPR, but Pembroke Fire Chief Jamie Waff said typically, when certified CPR personnel arrive on scene, they take over from witnesses who first started CPR.

"It’s great to see bystanders starting CPR, but it’s very confusing when they're wrapped up in the situation and we don’t know if they’re actually certified," Waff said. "When we get on location, we’re actually certified in CPR with the defibrillator. If anyone told her to leave, that is probably the reason because there were certified personnel on location to take over at that point."

Adding to the difficulty of the situation at Indian Falls, Waff said, is the congregation of drunken patrons at the bar, who sometimes cause issues when firefighters are attempting to perform a rescue.  

"There’s always an issue when we come here because you’re usually dealing with intoxicated people who think you aren’t doing it fast enough," Waff said. "Our number one concern is firefighter safety. We have to make sure all of our guys are safe as they go down. It’s a law enforcement issue because you are dealing with a bar-type situation."

It was a tense situation at the scene and one neighbor of Indian Falls was upset enough to provide reporters with a profanity-laced commentary on what he perceives as inattention by the owner of the Log Cabin Restaurant, the Town of Pembroke and local law enforcement to the dangerous situation at Indian Falls.

Barry Guthrie doesn't think anybody is doing enough to keep swimmers and divers off the falls.

"We've been fighting this for 10 years," said Guthrie, who moved in 2002 into a house near the falls once owned by his grandparents. 

He said he's been to the town, but the town, he said, can't determine who holds title to what, and he said that even though the Log Cabin has posted signs all along its property that say "No Trespassing," he doesn't think the owner takes the situation seriously because he believes the falls are public property (Genesee County owns the Tonawanda Creek from the City of Batavia to the Tonawanda Indian Reservation).

Responding to the scene were Town of Pembroke fire, Indian Falls fire, Genesee County Emergency Services, the Rope Rescue Team, Mercy EMS, Mercy Flight, the Sheriff's Office and State Police.

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July 13, 2016 - 7:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, indian falls, drowning, pembroke, Alabama, news.

Possible drownings are reported in the falls by the Indian Falls Log Cabin Restaurant. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are called to respond along with Mercy medics. The caller reports two possible victims are in the water at the falls and not coming up. The Alabama Volunteer Fire Department Chief is asked to contact the GC Emergency Dispatch Center.

UPDATE 7:13 p.m.: The command post is set up in the Log Cabin restaurant parking lot.

UPDATE 7:15 p.m.: The restaurant is located at 1227 Gilmore Road in Corfu. A trooper says one male subject who was found is not breathing. A Mercy Flight landing zone is being set up. "Looks like they're doing CPR." Onlookers at the scene are said to be a problem for first responders.

UPDATE 7:24 p.m.: Mercy Flight has a five-minute ETA. A responder with a backboard "for CPR purposes" is requested at the edge of the falls.

UPDATE 7:26 p.m.: Mercy Flight #5 out of Batavia has a three-minute ETA.

UPDATE 7:40 p.m.: Medics on scene, including Mercy medics and Mercy Flight personnel "are aware that it's a recovery mode at this point."

UPDATE 7:43 p.m.: Mercy Medic #3 is called to the scene for "firefighters with some abrasions."

UPDATE 7:45 p.m.: The chief in command at the scene reports there is one fatality and that it will take about 30 minutes to bring the male victim up and out of the area. It's unknown how long the victim may have been under water. There are no other victims. About 30 people were in the water at the time of the incident, according to the scene commander and other witnesses.

June 4, 2016 - 8:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, pembroke hs, indian falls, corfu, east pembroke.

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The Pembroke, Indian Falls, Corfu and East Pembroke volunteer fire departments came together yesterday to stage a DWI accident drill for the seniors of Pembroke High School in advance of their annual prom.

The drill simulates a fatal accident caused by a drunken driver.

Also participating were the Sheriff's Office, Coroner Karen Long, Mercy EMS, Mercy Flight and C.B. Beach Funeral Home.

To find out more about volunteering with your local fire department, visit ReadyGenesee.com.

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To purchase prints, click here.

May 6, 2016 - 9:48am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, pembroke, indian falls, news.

Due to a motor-vehicle accident in Erie County, westbound Route 5 at Crittenden Road is being closed to traffic by fire police from Pembroke and Indian Falls.

UPDATE 10:31 a.m.: The road is reopened. Pembroke and Indian Falls are back in service.

February 1, 2016 - 6:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, pembroke, indian falls.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at the exit 48A toll booth of the Thruway. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding, along with an ambulance as mutual aid from Darien.

December 25, 2015 - 2:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, pembroke, indian falls.

A one-vehicle rollover accident with unknown unjuries is reported on the westbound Thruway at mile marker 404. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 2:18 p.m.: The assignement is back in service.

September 18, 2015 - 1:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, pembroke, indian falls.

A one-car accident is reported on Route 77 just north of the Thruway overpass. A person is injured and bleeding. Pembroke and Indians Falls fire departments are responding along with Mercy medics.

UPDATE 2:22 p.m.: The vehicle has minor damage. There was air-bag deployment, according to a responder.

August 27, 2015 - 8:10am

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Members of Genesee County's rope rescue team trained at Indian Falls -- the site of many such real-life rescues over the years -- with a new rope system, called a Vortex.

The $25,000 system (including LED lighting) features a more sophisticated, and more effective and efficient, pulley system, making it easier to keep the ropes clear of obstructions and requiring less exertion of force to raise a patient lifter, making it easier for a medic to accompany the patient up the side of the cliff. 

Top photo: Christina Marinaccio and Jamie Call, the first team to descend and ascend with the new system. Marinaccio and Call are both city firefighters and volunteers (with Le Roy and Stafford, respectively).

To find out how you can do interesting things like this, help save lives and serve your community, visit ReadyGenesee.com.

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August 19, 2015 - 6:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, pembroke, indian falls, Darien.

A motor-vehicle accident is reported in front of Pembroke High School at 8750 Alleghany Road. Law enforcement on scene says one person may have a concussion. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding, along with Darien ambulance.

August 11, 2015 - 3:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, rope rescue, pembroke, corfu, indian falls.

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(Photo: Tyler Tomasik, right, with friends Chad Buziak, Alyssa Kranz and Katailyn Armstrong.)

A rope rescue is needed for a man who jumped off the north bank of Indian Falls behind the Log Cabin Restaurant. People there are unable to get him out. His unjuries are unknown. He is conscious and alert. The location is 1227 Gilmore Road, Corfu. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments, Mercy medics and the Rope Rescue Team are called to the scene.

UPDATE 4 p.m.: The male is a teenager who was rescued by his best friend and transported by Mercy medics to UMMC for evaluation at the request of his parents. He had no complaints of aches or pains.

UPDATE 4:18: The rescuer is 19-year-old Lancaster resident Tyler Tomasik. Here's what he told Howard at the scene: "We were just walking down by the water. He slipped in. Had to save him. We were right underneath the falls. Like there's a cliff where you drop off and we were underneath it, like watching the falls, and he slipped on this wet rock and just went under. I didn't know what to do. I tried grabbing a stick to pull him out. That didn't work so I just reached my arm in and grabbed him. I just kept reaching in."

Asked about whether they had jumped off the falls, he said they have heard about it but had not done so. But when his friend just slipped into the water it was "a little scary."

Once out of the water, his friend hugged him and told him he loved him and said "thanks." Tyler told him "That's what friends are for. You gotta stick up for each other."

August 9, 2015 - 6:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, water rescue, indian falls, pembroke.

A man is down in the water, bleeding from the head, in the Indian Falls at 1227 Gilmore Road, Corfu. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments and Mercy medics are responding. The Water Rescue Team is called for a possible rope rescue. The location is outside the Indian Falls Log Cabin Restaurant.

UPDATE 6:26 p.m.: The emergency rope rescue response is cancelled per Pembroke command.

UPDATE 6:45 p.m.: Howard at the scene says a state trooper told him a man got a small cut on the head. That's it. "It was nothing." The assignment is back in service.

August 5, 2015 - 8:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, indian falls, pembroke.

A 22-year-old Buffalo resident is in critical condition at ECMC after an overnight accident on Route 77 in Indian Falls that required volunteer firefighters to extricate him from his vehicle.

Luis A. Martinez-Morales was airlifted by Mercy Flight following the 12:10 a.m. collision at the intersection of Route 77 and Indian Falls Road.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office is investigating the crash.

The Buffalo-man allegedly failed to stop at the intersection. He was westbound on Indian Falls Road. His car was struck by a northbound 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe driving by Dixie Woodworth, 53, of Maple Avenue, Lyndonville.

The Honda Accord driven by Martinez-Morales and the Santa Fe both skidded off the west shoulder of Route 77 just north of Gabbey Road.

A passenger in the Accord, 22-year-old Brian Ortiz-Guevara, of Puerto Rico, sustained minor injuries. He was taken by Mercy EMS to ECMC for evaluation.

Woodworth also sustained minor injuries and was transported by the Darien ambulance to ECMC.

The Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments responded to the scene.

The investigation is being conducted by Deputy Rich Schildwaster and Sgt. Ron Meides. Charges are pending. Alcohol is not considered a factor in the crash.

(Initial Report)

August 5, 2015 - 12:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, pembroke, indian falls.

An accident with injuries is reported at Route 77 and Gabbey Road, Pembroke.

Extrication is required and Mercy Flight is dispatched.

A landing zone is being set up at the Methodist church in Indian Falls. Darien's ambulance also dispatched.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments have responded.

UPDATE 12:34 a.m.: Mercy Flight has landed.

UPDATE 12:36 a.m.: Darien ambulance in route to the church.

UPDATE 12:47 a.m.: Mercy Flight transporting patient to ECMC.

July 20, 2015 - 6:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in pemborke, indian falls, accidents.

A two-car accident, unknown injuries, is reported at the intersection of Gabbey and Alleghany roads. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding along with Mercy medics.

July 3, 2015 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, pembroke.

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A caller at the Log Cabin Restaurant requests assistance for a distressed person in the water.

A first-responder reports the person is in about a foot of water and "pretty beat up."

The county's rope rescue team is requested to the scene.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments dispatched along with Mercy EMS.

UPDATE 6:03 p.m.: A chief request a check on availability of Mercy Flight.

UPDATE 6:08 p.m.: Mercy Flight #9 out of Buffalo dispatched. Landing zone will be the Indian Falls church.

UPDATE 6:11 p.m.: A normal rescue on the northside won't work. The victim is on the southside and the water is moving swiftly. A rescuer has reached the victim.

UPDATE 7:16 p.m.: The patient is in stable condition and Mercy Flight was dispatched as a precautionary measure. The patient became submerged, then came up from the water, clung to a rock, then was pulled under again by the current. He re-emerged about 50 feet down stream and was able to swim to the south bank. He showed no physical signs of injury.

May 26, 2015 - 11:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, pembroke, history, civil war, Memorial Day.

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On a cloud-shrouded Memorial Day afternoon in Indian Falls, the folds in the fabric of history were visible in a short service that honored one of Pembroke's own fallen Civil War soldiers.

A headstone for Conrad Litt, a German immigrant who probably joined the Army so his family could have 100 acres of land after the war, was dedicated in a service conducted by members of Colonel John B. Weber Camp No. 44 and the Weber Guard, Sons of Veterans Reserve.

The spot chosen for the marker is next to those of his parents and other family members in the Old Indian Falls Cemetery. The location is at the rise of the hill in the southwest corner of the graveyard. There's an opening in the tree line that overlooks a lush valley. 

Clifford Anderson, one of the Litt Family ancestors, who now lives in West Seneca, purchased the headstone from the Veteran's Administration. He likes the idea that Conrad Litt's grave overlooks that idyllic valley that will become a national veterans cemetery.

"His spirit will look out over his fellow soldiers here, on this hill," Anderson said.

Conrad Litt enlisted in the 100th New York Volunteer Infantry, 2nd Brigade, Company C., on October 24, 1861 as a private. The 2nd Brigade was known as the “Eagle Brigade,” which was sponsored by the Buffalo Board of Trade.

Litt participated in the Battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia, where more than half of his regiment was killed or wounded.

The Pembroke resident died in action July 18, 1863 during the Union’s night assault on Fort Wagner, Morris Island, S.C., when he was struck in the breast and died instantly.

The Second Battle for Fort Wagner was dramatized in the movie "Glory," which is about the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first military regiment in the Army comprised entirely of African-Americans, mostly freed slaves. The 54th led the nighttime charge on Fort Wagner, suffering heavy casualties, and though Fort Wagner never fell, the manner in which the men acquitted themselves led to more freed slaves being allowed to enlist. These black regiments were a significant factor, President Lincoln felt, in the Union winning the war.

Buffalo native John B. Weber enlisted in the Army Aug. 1, 1861 as a private and quickly rose through the ranks, attaining colonel before his 21st birthday. His first command, granted September 19, 1863, two months after the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, was the 89th Regiment, designated "18th Infantry, Corps d'Afrique." It was a regiment of freed slaves. Weber turned down a command of 44th Regiment to lead the 89th. He resigned later after his men were reassigned to another outfit and promised replacements, more freed slaves, were not available. He returned to Buffalo and eventually was elected to Congress.

Litt's remains were never recovered for a proper burial, as the fighting at Fort Wagner continued for another month by laying siege to take control of the rebel-held fort and battery, which was the key to entering Charleston Harbor and the Union reclaiming of Ft. Sumter, where the first shot of the War Between the States opened formal hostilities in 1861. 

Anderson learned of Litt and the cemetery where his family was buried while researching his family tree. In the process, he came across a book containing 25 of Litt's letters home. The book, which also contains the Civil War letters of Litt's childhood friend, also of Pembroke and fellow soldier, Sidney Lake, "I Take My Pen in My Hand."

"I came across these letters he wrote and I wept reading them," Anderson said. "I'm a vet myself and I would like to do him an honor, at least put a marker here for him. His body is not here, but I feel like his spirit has come home now."

The dedication ceremony comes 150 years after what some historians consider the first Memorial Day, organized in Charleston, S.C., May 1, 1865, by a group of freed slaves to honor the Union soldiers who helped secure their emancipation. The first nationally recognized Decoration Day was May 30, 1868. The date was supposedly chosen because it would be a time when flowers in all parts of the nation would be in bloom and the graves of fallen soldiers were to be decorated with flowers.

Flowers decorated Litt's marker yesterday.

For Michael Erb, who belongs to three Civil War reenactment groups, including the Weber group, and is himself a military veteran, taking part in services that honor the Civil War dead is important because the Civil War is a critical turning point in the nation's history.

"The Civil War was America's biggest war," Erb said. "It changed our country forever, you know. We were kind of a disunified country, different states going different ways, and all the sudden after the war, we were all one nation. Oliver Wendell Holmes said it was a terrible war, many people and soldiers died in that war, but look at what we got from it. We're a better country afterward. We're a unified country. Today, we're the only Superpower. It's a time in history that our whole country should remember."

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