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Byron Rescue Squad

Byron Rescue Squad seeks donations for new ambulance

By Press Release

Press release:

Imagine calling 911 for your emergency and nobody came! In times like these, it could be a possibility, but our little Byron Fire Department and Rescue Squad does not want this to happen to you! Last year this small-town squad answered a whopping 276 calls for 9-1-1 in and around the town of Byron. These are the most calls answered from any volunteer ambulance squad in all of Genesee County

The Byron Rescue Squad, started in 1976 has never received any tax dollars, they are funded only by donations. The dedicated volunteers of this small devoted squad are ready and willing to help, but their 14-year-old ambulance is aging and repairs are becoming very costly. The squad is in desperate need of a new one.  The old, outdated ambulance currently in use will last a little longer, but action is needed quickly otherwise the community may be without the critical care vehicle needed to respond to emergencies.

Everyone knows that the cost of nearly everything is rising. Items that were always available are now unpredictable or unavailable. This is the case with our medical supplies as well. Luckily our dedicated volunteers are still more than generous with their time and are happy to arrive at nearly every emergency call in our community ready and willing to assist. Each call requires a driver and at least one EMT. Depending on the emergency, many times additional fire personnel are required to manage the scene, give lifting assistance and provide whatever help needed to safely transport the patient to the hospital. Once at the hospital, ambulance personnel are required to remain with the patient until the hospital’s ER staff releases them and takes on the responsibility of that patient. With COVID and the hospital staff shortages, that time has increased. However, releasing the patient to the hospital is not the end of the rescue squad’s duties! It sometimes takes an hour or more to complete the required documentation.

Every year Byron Rescue sends out to each household a letter requesting donations. Luckily, we receive donations from some of our residents and we are very grateful for those donations. It helps us cover the cost of gas, supplies, some training, and light maintenance of our vehicle and equipment. This past year we had a most generous donation from an average couple (who wishes to remain anonymous). Their donation of $10,000 really jump-started our most needed mission to purchase a new ambulance. Other donations come to us via United Way and a go-fund-me page on the Byron Rescue Squad Facebook page or use this link - There are also pledges from some generous individuals made in their last will and testament. A very thoughtful way to say thank you and a final giving gesture to keep Byron a safe place to work and live.

In addition, our department does continue to do fundraising, however, fundraising is very time-consuming, and takes away time volunteers might otherwise have for themselves or helping others. We are planning a chicken bar-b-que this Memorial Day, Monday, May 30th after the Memorial Day parade. This will be held at the Byron Fire Hall around 11:30 a.m. until food is sold out. It will again be a drive-thru event. The cost this year will be $15.00 a half chicken with home-made macaroni salad, coleslaw, and roll. Our firemen will also be outside seeking boot donations. Please plan to come early to enjoy this most delicious meal!! 

The cost of a new ambulance is approximately $200,000. We need to push forward so our dream of a new ambulance can be realized. It is becoming a financial burden to continue patching up our old ambulance; it is draining the funds we need to operate. We will reach a point when we will have to take our current ambulance out of service, but hopefully, we will have a new one purchased before that time comes!

Our Byron Rescue Squad is reaching out to anyone who would like to help us help others by donating to this more than worthy cause. Byron is a great place to live and raise a family, and for the most part our little community has wonderful, caring people, and our community should be very thankful for that! COVID has been a great time to reflect on and be thankful for what we have. We know not everyone has the knowledge and ability to help out when a Medical Emergency happens, and it is sometimes difficult for our volunteers to stop in the midst of their day or night and run to the fire hall, and head out to help those who are probably having the worst day in their life, but that’s what our volunteers do day after day! Everyone who can help should help a little!

If you are a person who likes to help others, consider lending your talents and skills to our dedicated Byron Rescue Squad.  Fall EMT classes are free and they start in September and run through March, usually Tuesdays and Thursday nights in Batavia. There is training here in Byron at the Fire Hall on Monday nights, feel free to stop by and say hello. Please don’t wait for an emergency to do your part, help us get this new ambulance on the road so that we can all be safe!

Byron Rescue Squad and local fire departments hold '9-1-1 Food Call' May 29

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The Byron Rescue Squad along with local fire departments will be holding a 9-1-1 Food Call on Friday, May 29th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Byron Bergen High School Campus.

Food donated will be given to The Salvation Army in Batavia for distribution.

The items in demand are: helper meal kits (hamburger and tuna) canned fruit, crackers and cereal. Any nonperishable food items will be welcomed to help us answer this 9-1-1 Food Call.

If these hours do not fit your busy schedule, donations can be left at the Byron Fire Department across from the Post Office in Byron on Route 262.

Please have your donations bagged and be advised that no one needs to exit their car at this event.

Volunteers will accept your donation as you pass through the high school campus. Byron Bergen High school is located at the intersection of Route 262 and West Bergen Road in Bergen.

For questions or to volunteer to help at the drive-thru, Contact Brad Nickerson at (585) 330-3584 or by email at:

Thanks for answering this 9-1-1 Food Call!

OXBO International of Byron comes to the rescue of rescue squad's ambulance

By Billie Owens

Photos and story by Pat Iamon, Byron Fire Department.

OXBO International of Byron stepped up to help the Town of Byron help others! The Byron Rescue Squad ambulance was showing its age. At 12 years old it was in dire need of some care.

“Our rescue squad has many dedicated members; we have, in this time of closing ambulance services, expanded ours," said EMT Captain Brad Nickerson. "Our team consists of some Advanced EMTs along with EMTs and regular firemen who happily pitch in when needed.

"Our team has dedicated over 1,000-man hours of their personal time answering calls, plus hundreds of hours in trainings to keep their skills current when every minute counts!”

Although the Byron Fire Department pays for the squad’s insurance, lodging and fuel which helps greatly; the squad runs on donations to keep up on education, supplies and maintenance. That maintenance is the costing the department more and more each year due to the aging of the ambulance.

“Our annual fund drive covers the bills only, but saving to replace our rig with donations seems unreachable, so for now we are just trying to keep it going,” Nickerson said.

This is where OXBO, Byron’s local industry, stepped in.

The running boards on the rig were hanging on by a thread; they were unsafe. Also, the back bumpers were in rough shape, one was being held in place with a bungee cord!

EMT Laura Platt thought she would ask her husband, Doug, who works at OXBO to ask his boss, Chris Chadborn, if OXBO could help. Chadborn did not hesitate, he said.

“Bring it down!” Assistant Chief John Durand and Platt drove the rig the couple miles to OXBO and a team immediately came out to access it.

The team determined that they could make new running boards and steps using the old ones as patterns.

Not wanting to keep the rig out of service, Steve Lockner, another Byron firefighter, along with Durand removed the parts and Platt’s husband took them to OXBO on his next work day.

When Platt asked Chadborn about the cost of replacing those parts, he said, "One hand washes the other."

“Our ambulance looked a little rough as we continued to answer calls while the parts were in the process of being replaced by OXBO,” Platt said. “But it wasn’t long before my husband, Doug, came home from work with the new shiny black running boards and bumpers.”

Both Lockner and Durand installed the new parts immediately.

“Our rig was safe once again, and how great it looks with the new parts made to perfection!” Platt said. “This Holiday Season the Byron Rescue Squad is very thankful to OXBO International for the gift of their expertise in metal works, which has allowed us to continue helping our little community.

"Next year’s wish is to somehow secure funding to start the process of replacing our 12-year-old ambulance. A new ambulance would cost $200,000 to $300,000, not including the equipment. A new ambulance would give our dedicated and willing volunteers even more ways to come to the aid of our community.”

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