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October 27, 2017 - 1:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, news, corfu.

Press release:

The New York State Association of Magistrates Court Clerks Inc. honors one of its members each year for his or her service and contributions not only to the State Association but to his or her County Association, community and colleagues by exhibiting leadership and assistance in all duties of our profession. 

The 2017 Court Clerk of the Year award was presented during the Awards Banquet of our Annual Conference held in Ellicottville on Sept. 24. It was a privilege to present this prestigious award to a local resident, Pamela Thurber

Pam has been a court clerk for seven years.  She has previously served as a court clerk in the Village of Corfu and the Town of Darien.  She currently holds the Court Clerk positions in the Village of Attica and Town of Alabama. 

Attending the award presentation were Pam’s family, significant other -- Michael Lute, sons -- Peyton and Colton, mother – Deb, sister - Terra, father --  Ron and stepmom Barb. Also in attendance were the Honorable John Tauscher, Town of Alabama, and the Honorable Julie Perry, Town and Village of Attica.

Judge Perry sent a heartwarming letter of recommendation stating why Pam was worthy of this great award. Judge Perry stated how efficient Pam was in her job, but what struck the award committee greatly, was that Judge Perry stated: “Every so often we meet people in our lives that leave an impact that cannot be described.” She hopes Pam will sit by her side on the bench for the remainder of her career.

Pam has a long list of involvements in our association as well as her community.  She serves as a county representative for Genesee County. She serves as a mentor for court clerks in her county, giving them a one on one training. Pam is an active member of the Genesee and Wyoming County Magistrate and Court Clerk Associations, and currently participating on a committee for centralized arraignments.

Pam is one of the “new kids” on the association’s board of directors. Last fall, she jumped in with both feet as soon as she was elected to the position of Director. She immediately volunteered to co-chair the publicity/media committee and was the lead in our website relaunch. Our NYSAMCC Web designer Ray sent me an email stating “I have to share with you that Pam has been a sport and a tremendous help. She has organized everything very well and made it as simple as can be for me to create this website from the start.”

Most recently, Pam has taken over the position of Editor in Chief for our association’s bi-annual magazine, "The Docket." Her first edition was recently released and was nothing short of spectacular! 

Nominations for Pam came from more than one clerk in her area, they all commented that Pam is smart, hardworking, detail oriented and very organized.  She is patient, understanding and kind and will step up to help anyone who asks. She is always willing to get involved to help her fellow clerks and will bend over backward to help educate the clerks in her county, district and all clerks of New York State. 

Pam’s journey as a court clerk has not always been the smoothest. She accepted a position in 2011 to replace a court clerk who was charged and convicted of stealing money from the court. She spent years cleaning up the mess that was left behind when the dust settled. Pam learned so much from that experience that last summer she co-authored a presentation for clerks called “Surviving an Audit.” She has been able to teach her fellow clerks real-life examples of what to expect during an audit, how clerks can be prepared for an audit, and best recordkeeping practices. 

“Pam is truly an example of what a court clerk should be. I am thankful to have her as a colleague and to have her serve on my team!” said Gillian Koerner, Town and Village of Arcade court clerk and president of the New York State Association of Magistrates Court Clerks Inc.

October 23, 2017 - 8:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify, elba, Alabama, pembroke, corfu, Darien.
       Adante Davis

Adante L. Davis, 27, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with assault, 2nd, and burglary, 1st. Davis was arrested on a warrant for assault and robbery stemming from a home invasion at a location on Central Avenue on Oct. 28, 2016, in which he is a suspect. Davis was one of four suspects and has been at large since the incident. Three participants have pled guilty and been sentenced -- Daniel J. Gilbert, Marquis K. Saddler, and Oliver Thomas. Davis was ordered held without bail.

Darrell J. Holloway, 49, of Farnsworth AVenue, Oakfield, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Holloway was stopped for an alleged traffic infraction at 8:02 p.m. Thursday on Evans Street, Batavia.

Daniel Joseph Difrancesco, 36, of Edgewood Drive, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Difrancesco was allegedly involved in a dispute at his residence. He was jailed without bail.

Alex Scott Dumbleton, 24, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with illegal disposal of items. Dumbleton allegedly threw a bag of garbage onto the property of another person without permission.

Michele L. DiFalco, 28, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. DeFalco allegedly stole property from an associate Sept. 25. He was jailed on bail.

Katty L. Jackson, 21, of Dewey Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Jackson allegedly struck another person in an incident reported at 6:29 p.m. Thursday at a location on Maple Street, Batavia.

A 17-year-old resident of Batavia is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, obstruction of governmental administration, failure to yield right of way to emergency vehicle, and no lights on a bicycle. Police attempted a traffic stop on the young bicyclist at 8:36 p.m. Thursday on Ellicott Street and the youth attempted to flee from police and led police on a chase. The youth was jailed following his arrest.

Casey Arthur Trommetter, 29, of Angling Road, Pembroke, is charged with DWI, moving from lane unsafely, and unregistered motor vehicle. Trommetter was arrested following an investigation by Deputy Ryan Young into a two-vehicle accident reported at 12:09 a.m. today on Genesee Street, Pembroke. When deputies arrived on scene they found an unoccupied vehicle in the westbound lane. Trommetter was in a second vehicle in a ditch off the side of the road. She was treated and released at the scene for minor injuries and charged with DWI. 

Michael Alan Shelter, 27, of Lewiston Road, Alabama, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Shelter was arrested following an investigation into a disturbance reported at 8:45 p.m. Friday on Lewiston Road, Alabama.

Anthony James Constable, 31, of Oak Orchard Road, Elba, is charged with DWI. Constable was allegedly involved in a domestic incident at 11:08 p.m. Saturday in Elba. Following the incident, he allegedly drove to 7993 Call Parkway, Batavia, the location of Ashley Furniture, where he was located by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello and arrested for alleged DWI. Additional charges are pending.

Mark Harley Bennett, 31, of Chamberlain Street, Albion, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Bennett was arrested after deputies responded to a report at 8:57 p.m. Saturday of two men in a vehicle in a parking lot at 8363 Lewiston Road shooting up heroin. Upon investigation, Bennett was allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance.

Adrienne F. Yocina, 36, of Alleghany Road, Pembroke, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Yocina was charged following a home probation check. She was allegedly in possession of high capacity ammunition magazines and a controlled substance.

Benjamin Jacob Skubis, 23, of Colby Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Skubis was charged following an investigation by Deputy Mathew Clor into a motor-vehicle accident reported at 2:25 p.m. Saturday on Bloomington Road, Basom.

Nicolas James Scripp, 27, of Fullington Road, Attica, is charged with public lewdness. Scripp allegedly urinated near the entrance of a business on Park Road at 2:22 a.m. Saturday.

Pamela A. Battaglia, 59, of Limerick Road, Piffard, is charged with trespass. Battaglia is accused of refusing to leave a property on Junction Road, Pavilion, after being told to leave several times.

John Paul Henning Sr., 55, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with acting in a manner that could injure a child and assault, 3rd. Henning is accused of attempting to punish a child by striking him on the foot with a plastic object, which caused the child to bleed.

Trisha Rose Santora, 35, of Georgian Drive, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, controlled substance not in original container, aggravated unlicensed operation, license plate violation, and inadequate plate lamps. Santora was arrested on a warrant. She was jailed on $5,000 bail, $10,000 bond.

Robert E. Magoffin, 45, of Darien Center, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Magoffin was arrested by State Police in connection with an alleged incident reported 5:52 p.m. Friday in Darien. No further details released.

Nichole M. Ambrosoli, 50, of Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Ambrosoli was stopped at 2:45 a.m. Saturday on R. Stephen Hawley Drive, Batavia, by State Police.

October 19, 2017 - 4:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, Milestones.

Jenna Lawson, from Corfu, has been named a Presidential Scholar for the 2017-18 school year at SUNY Geneseo.

Lawson is among 15 new Geneseo Presidential Scholars, top-achieving members of the senior class who also serve as ambassadors for the college. They represent a variety of academic areas and exemplify the college's institutional values.

To receive the honor, a student must hold a minimum grade-point average of 3.6 and have earned at least 70 credits.

They also must demonstrate academic achievement across the curriculum, affirming Geneseo's values of excellence and innovation. Examples of such achievement could be involvement in major directed studies, substantial overseas studies, independent research, conference presentations, significant artistic projects and/or record of creativity. They also must demonstrate an active involvement with the community.

SUNY Geneseo is a premiere public liberal arts college dedicated to developing socially responsible citizens with skills and values for a productive life.

October 13, 2017 - 2:14pm
posted by Genesee Chamber... in holiday hollow, Family Fun, corfu.

This year marks a quarter of a century for Holiday Hollow, and the last year of the Halloween and Pirate-themed mini-Renaissance fair that has delighted families for ages. If you’ve never been, this is your last chance to check it out. If you’ve gone before, don’t miss your opportunity to say goodbye with one last trip to this amazing October destination!

Holiday Hollow is full of surprises; from a Haunted Parlor to a Mad Tea Party, Talking Pumpkins, Fairy Tales and the Wacky Witch’s Spooky Forest cooking show, there is plenty to see and do when you visit. Get lost in Hook’s Dark Maze, or witness the Hollow’s famous pirate sword fighting. Eat your fill at the Popcorn Wagon, or show your “spirit” with a custom face painting.

This year, Holiday Hollow welcomes two new shows – the comedic “Witches’ Coven” and a new Gypsy comedy show. Both are sure to delight, introducing new acts and characters never seen before.

You don’t have to worry about getting rained out or missing the adventure – because Holiday Hollow is open every Saturday and Sunday throughout the rest of October – rain or shine. Hours run from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (with a 2:00 p.m. end time on particularly rainy days). Admission is $13 for adults and kids over 10, and $12 for kids age 3-10, with children two and under free!

When you’ve had your fill of the fun, take home a keepsake from Treasure Island or Cricket Cottage – a lasting memory of your time mingling with the ruffians, rascals, and spooky scoundrels who call Holiday Hollow home.

Holiday Hollow is located just off Exit 48A on the New York State Thruway (I-90). For directions or more information, call 585-762-8160 or visit their website at http://www.holidayhollow.com/Holiday_Hollow/Home.html

To learn more visit www.VisitGeneseeNY.com

October 13, 2017 - 11:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, corfu, Boy Scouts, Troop 64, news.


Tyler Wood was promoted to the rank of Eagle Scout at the Old Courthouse last night.

His Eagle Project was the renovation of the restrooms at the Akron Free Methodist Church. He is a member of Troop 64 in East Pembroke. Pictured with him are his Scoutmaster Bryan Schiefer and his parents, Charles and Heather Wood.

Photo and info submitted by Heather Wood.

October 1, 2017 - 9:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, corfu, news.

A kitchen fire is reported at the Corfu Meadows Apartments, 53 W. Main St., Corfu.

One person may have suffered smoke inhalation.

Corfu fire dispatched.

Darien, East Pembroke, and Pembroke fire departments also requested to the city. City Fast Team called to the scene. The city's 1st plattoon asked to fill in at the city Fire Hall.

UPDATE 9:47 p.m.: Fire knocked down.

October 1, 2017 - 4:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, corfu, east pembroke.


A possible residential structure fire is reported at 2317 Angling Road, Corfu. East Pembroke fire is responding along with mutual aid from Town of Batavia and Corfu fire departments. The location is between West Avenue and North Angling Road.

UPDATE 5:31 p.m.: Photos and info from Alecia Kaus/Video News Service: The homeowner was attempting to smoke out bees and his house caught on fire. It got into the attic; a quick response by volunteer firefighters kept the fire from spreading.


September 27, 2017 - 3:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County, preservation, corfu.


Article by Cleo Mullins

The Corfu United Presbyterian Church on Route 77 in Corfu was built in 1831 and has a gable front form, typical of the early rural church, that has remained basically intact. They are celebrating their 200th year as a congregation this year and it is a time to reflect on many projects they have been done over the years.

They have many beautiful stained glass windows from the 1880’s and in 1918 a lovely round stained glass window was installed on the wall behind the main alter. The pews that they have now came from the Methodist Church when it closed in Corfu. Over the years there have been additions to the church to accommodate the needs of the community. In 1956 there was extensive remodeling done to the Church with the balcony being reopened. Also that year an addition was built on the north end with classrooms, offices, a new dinning room and the kitchen was rebuilt. The big change to the exterior was the two front doors were installed to replace the single entrance.

In 1998 a bequest was used to remodel the sanctuary and narthex, and to enlarge the balcony and another bequest in 2004 was used to remodel the kitchen. This year they have a new sign that all can see as you travel route 77 and they have also done landscaping.

The Landmark Society of Genesee County Preservation award goes to Corfu United Presbyterian Church for their Tender Loving Care. 

September 27, 2017 - 3:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County, preservation, corfu.


Article by Joan Bird

The Eck home at 64 East Main Street in Corfu is the recipient of the Landmark Society preservation award for Tender Loving Care.

Dean and Jennifer Eck purchased the home in 2000.The house has many Greek Revival touches as illustrated by the columns. This style was built between 1830-1860.

The clapboard siding and six over six windows in the front of the house are original. Also original are the door and beveled sidelights.

As I mentioned, the six over six windows are original and are made of rolled glass. The distortions in antique glass are part of the charm of old windows and a historic feature valued by their owners.

The exact building date of the house is unknown. It is believed that what is now the apartment is the original house. That portion of the house is all heavy timber construction built with square nails. The floors in this section are original to the house.

The foundation of this portion has been scored to look like stone.

The porch pillars in front have been rebuilt but remain the same size and shape as the original ones. The patriotic colors the home is painted reflect the feelings of the present owners.

As the owners worked on the home, they found a collection basin for spring water under the back porch. It was connected to a pump in the old kitchen.

As with most old homes, the Ecks have found many “treasures” as they look pulled down old walls and ceiling. These “treasures” include a pair of spectacles and a newspaper from 1927. It is fascinating to see the “news” of 1927 as well as the advertisements, especially the prices of certain items.

Perhaps the most interesting “treasure” is a registry from 1890 of the students at the Corfu school. It’s fun to imagine how it came to be in the walls of this house.

Those who have worked with old homes know the challenges and the creativity needed to preserve the past.
this award to the Eck family. 

September 25, 2017 - 10:13am
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, Halloween, news, Announcements.

Corfu Fire Department is hosting a Halloween Open House from 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 31. 

The fire hall is located at 116. E. Main St. in Corfu.

Tim Hortons is donating hot cocoa, coffee, donuts and cookies.

There will also be a live Dj, games and door prizes for the kids.

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 21, 2017 - 3:34pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in corfu, accident, news, notify.

Photo credit: Alecia Kaus/Video News Service

A Corfu man died this morning as a result of injuries suffered during a vehicle accident at the intersection of West Middlebury and East Bethany roads, Middlebury.

The collision occurred around 8:30 when the driver of a 2013 Toyota Tacoma failed to yield to a 2014 International tractor-trailer.

The driver of the Tacoma, Dean M. Dale, 54, of Corfu, was traveling eastbound on West Middlebury Road when he struck the tractor-trailer traveling northbound on East Bethany Road.

Lifesaving measures performed by New York State troopers and Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies were unsuccessful and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The State Police collision reconstruction unit assisted in the investigation however, officials say it is still an ongoing investigation.

UPDATE 4:37 p.m.: Dean Dale was an employee of UMMC. UMMC released this statement:

We are deeply saddened to learn of Dean’s passing. He was a valued member of our Radiology team since 2012 and a dear friend that will be sadly missed by many.

Dean’s family, friends and UMMC team are in our thoughts during this difficult time.

September 19, 2017 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, news.

22614468_1501288094.2088_0.jpgCarrie Fisher, a mother of two in Corfu, has been waiting since August for a heart transplant and today, her family finally received word that a heart is available for transplant.

She is scheduled for surgery at 5 p.m. at Strong Memorial Hospital, according to Kurt Fisher.

Carrie Fisher has been at Strong since August on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine. Fisher developed cardiomyopathy during her second pregnancy with her son, Trevor, whom she delivered on July 11. Her heart was weakened and could no longer sustain her.

The whole family and the community have pulled together to help Carrie, Andrew, and their children get through the difficult time.

"We would like to let everybody know (that the transplant is taking place) who have helped us out," Kurt Fisher said. "Thank you."

Submitted photo.

August 22, 2017 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu, pembroke, news, scott doll.
     File Photo: Scott Doll

An attempt by Scott F. Doll to get his 2010 murder conviction overturned has hit a final state-level roadblock, with New York's Court of Appeals turning down a request for either a hearing or a new trial based on Doll's lack of legal right to seek the appeal.

An attorney for Doll, Timothy Murphy, argued in January 2016, before Interim County Court Judge Micheal Pietruszka, that his client should get a new trial because of what he believed was a mishandling of fingernail scrapings from the murder victim, Joseph Benaquist, and the possibility of third-party blood DNA on one of the boots of Benaquist.

Pietruszka denied the appeal and Murphy appealed to the Fourth Department of the New York Court of Appeals and a judge there ruled that the department wouldn't hear the appeal or grant a new trial.

Today, a judge with the state's Court of Appeals issued a ruling that said Doll was asking for an appeal on issues that were not appealable. 

For previous Scott Doll coverage, click here.

August 16, 2017 - 1:11pm

Genesee County Sheriff's Office Investigator Tim Wescott will lead a free public workshop at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, on learning how to recognize and avoid scams.

It will be held at the East Pembroke Volunteer Fire Department's pavilion, which is accessible using either Main Road or Slusser Road behind the fire hall. The fire hall is located at 2663 Main Road in Corfu.

Topics to be covered include: identity theft, credit cards, telemarketing, Internet scams, and home-improvement scams.

The presentation is provided by the Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the East Pembroke Neighborhood Crime Watch.

August 15, 2017 - 7:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu, pembroke, Le Roy, news.

Edward Joseph Stabell, 23, of Meiser Road, Corfu, is charged with trespass. Stabell is accused of trespassing at a location on Gilmore Road, Pembroke.

Scott Douglas MacPherson, 58, of Transit Road, Pavilion, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding, and insufficient tail lamps. MacPherson was stopped on Lake Street Road, Le Roy, at 9:14 p.m. Sunday by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

August 11, 2017 - 11:57am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in corfu, news.


(Submitted photo)

Carrie (nee: Thornley) Fisher, a resident of Corfu, is currently at Strong Memorial Hospital awaiting a heart transplant, while her husband and family take care of her two children.

Fisher developed cardiomyopathy during her second pregnancy with her son, Trevor, whom she delivered on July 11. Her heart was weakened and can no longer sustain her, so she is currently on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine. She is at the top of the list awaiting a heart transplant in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.

Angela Guza, Fisher’s sister, said Fisher’s condition is very serious, but she is in good spirits and misses her kids like crazy.

“Luckily, we both have big families so there is always someone to help out and take care of the kids,” Guza said. “There is always somebody with her [at the hospital]. We don’t leave her alone.”

Family even takes turns to stay with Fisher overnight at the hospital, Guza said.

Fisher’s husband, Andrew, is still able to work and take care of the children, with the help of other family, but the eventual long-term care Carrie will need, will add up.

“Even if she went home two weeks from today, she wouldn’t be able to pick the kids up or feed them,” Guza said.

Guza created a GoFundMe located here with the hope of raising more than $25,000 to assist Carrie and Andrew. As of Thursday morning, they have raised more than $18,000.

“I don’t know how much it’s all going to take to help her out,” Guza said. “That was my best guess when we started this a week ago.”

August 3, 2017 - 10:25am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in corfu, Three T's Family Diner, news, restaurants, business.


A few members of the Toy family, from left to right, Coby, Tracy, Wade and Tyler.

Wade and Tracy Toy have five kids and know the struggle of getting a good meal for a large family, without breaking the wallets.

That’s why they opened Three T’s Family Diner, located at 2 Corfu Plaza in Corfu. While they live in Cheektowaga, the travel time is worth it, Tracy said.

“It seemed like the small town didn’t have much going for it,” Tracy said. “We figured if we do this, maybe other things would pick up and the town would be back to where it was years ago.”

Wade and Tracy found the Corfu location on Craigslist and thought the place had potential.

They started renovating the location in January and finished in May. Wade said they stripped everything right down to the firewalls.

Wade used to drive a truck and Tracy was a railroad clerk, up until the beginning of this year.

“We both quit our jobs to put our time and effort into the diner,” Tracy said.

Tracy said they plan to leave the diner to their kids, Jessica, 23, Joshua, 21, Jacob, 19, Tyler, 15, and Coby 13.

“We also have a 4-year-old grandson that comes here,” Tracy said. “He gives out the menus and straws.”

The hope is that further down the road, Wade and Tracy will pass the diner along to their kids, while they go mobile and purchase a food truck for events and parties.

For locals, if they have ideas for what should be on the menu, Tracy and Wade are open to suggestions.

“We’ll try it out,” Tracy said. “Even if we don’t know what it is, we will look it up and figure it out.”

Wade said one customer requested chipped beef and gravy last week, which has been added to the specials. Tracy said they hope to receive a lot of feedback from customers.

The diner is open every day of the week, except Wednesday, from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., and accepts cash only.

They just started with takeout and delivery only to local businesses.

Tracy said they hope to expand to dinner hours in the near future.

“People can come here with their families and have a good, decent meal,” Tracy said. “Then, they can leave with money in their wallet and still be able to take their kids out.” 


The diner is located behind the carwash in the Corfu Plaza, next to the American Family Market.


July 27, 2017 - 12:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke, corfu, notify.


A 37-year-old Corfu resident was flown by Mercy Flight to ECMC yesterday morning after her car struck a parked construction trailer on Hopkins Road, Pembroke, at 8:18 a.m.

The trailer was parked partially in the roadway and it may have been difficult for Lori Schwab to see in the early morning sun as she came over a rise in a hill, according to investigators.

She was driving a 2009 Chevy sedan.

The trailer is registered to B&B Paving and Excavating, of Middleport. It wasn't attached to another vehicle at the time of the accident.

The owner was cited for alleged parking or standing on a main traveled paved roadway.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Photo: By Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

July 24, 2017 - 3:49pm

The local fire departments in Alexander and Corfu are excited to receive grants to help the first responders improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies.

Both fire departments had applied for the same grant last year, but did not receive it, and both fire chiefs said their Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) air packs were becoming outdated. 

The Alexander Fire Department will use $92,994 grant to purchase 15 SCBA air packs and 30 oxygen bottles.

Alexander Chief Marshall Merle said the new packs will be lighter and safer, helping the firefighters.

"We appreciate New York State for letting us receive the grant,” Merle said. “We’re really glad we got it this year. It’s good to help out the community and keep our guys safe.”

Merle said he worked with New York State to apply for the grant again this year.

"They were very helpful throughout this process," Merle said. "I'm happy we are getting the grant."

The Corfu Fire Department will be using the $84,191 grant to purchase 12 SCBA air packs. The packs will provide them with breathable air when responding to an emergency situation.

“We applied for the grant because the air packs that we have, have a life span,” Corfu Fire Chief Brian Schollard said. “They’re all expiring by the end of the year.”

Schollard said everyone at the fire department, himself included, has been positive about the grant.

“It’s a great thing for a small company like us,” Schollard said. “It’s nice to see [AFG] helping out small rural districts. It really is a lifesaver.”

Congressman Chris Collins announced on July 19 that the departments would receive the grants, awarded through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.

The AFG program provides direct funding assistance to fire departments, State Fire Training Academies and non-affiliated EMS organizations to enhance their response capabilities, according to the press release. The program also more effectively protects the health and safety of both the public and emergency responders with respect to fire and other hazards.

“Firefighters are selfless individuals and are essential to keeping our communities safe,” Collins said in a press release. “It is imperative that our fire departments have the resources necessary to keep their members safe while they are protecting others.”

For previous coverage of this story, click here.

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