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June 18, 2022 - 1:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, IAFF Local 896, batavia, news.

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City Firefighters, members of Local 896, were out on city streets on Saturday as part of their annual Fill the Boot campaign on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

This year's campaign also included over the past several months placing boots in the lobbies and entrances of area businesses.

In all -- yesterday's fundraising and the in-store boot drive -- the firefighters have raised $8,725.50 for MDA.

Photos by Frank Capuano.

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June 5, 2022 - 10:45pm
posted by Press Release in news, City Fire, Fill the Boot, MDA, batavia.

Press Release

City of Batavia Firefighters IAFF Local 896 is happy to announce the
return of our Fill the Boot campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

After a two-year break due to COVID we are bringing back our annual boot drive this year. On Friday, June 17, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. through 1:30 p.m. our Local 896 members will once again be out in the areas of Court Street and Main Street as well as Court Street and Ellicott Street to collect donations for the MDA.

The second part of our Fill the Boot campaign is our traveling boots. IAFF Local 896 has partnered with businesses throughout the City of Batavia to host a collection boot so that donations can be made throughout the year. Donations collected during our Fill the Boot campaign will support researching neuromuscular diseases such as ALS, muscular dystrophies, and other diseases.

Donations will also provide support for families affected by these diseases and opportunities for children affected to go to camps with other children.

Local 896 would like to thank everyone for the donations already received and for all future donations. Also a thank you to the local businesses such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Tops Friendly Markets, NAPA, Sherwin-Williams, and Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union who have already adopted a traveling boot for their location.

June 4, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, City Fire, batavia, notify.

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June 18 may be a bit anti-climactic for Greg Ireland as his official last day before retirement.

With some reserves of vacation time, Ireland opted to work his last shift this past weekend and use his paid time off for the remaining few weeks. That didn’t make reality sting any less.

“Walking out on my last day was emotional,” he said during an interview with The Batavian. “It’s definitely been part of my lifestyle. Emotions came in waves. It was the right decision at this time, I’ll have the opportunity to be home with my family … that’s going to allow me more time with my family and my kids. That was the main driver behind it.”

After nearly 23 years as a city employee, Ireland has been a recognizable face throughout the community. He started out as an emergency medical technician when the city owned and operated its own ambulance service. He credits Sept. 4, 1999 as “the best day of my life” for a career move out of radio — and the airplanes and helicopters used for part of his traffic reporting job.

“I actually flew on an airplane for almost two years every morning. I did that for a bunch of stations up in Buffalo,” he said. “It was a great experience, but not what I wanted to do.”

So, an Alexander High School and Genesee Community College graduate, he worked in Buffalo for awhile before making the move. He began as an EMT in 1999, with a background of having volunteered for the Alexander fire department, and a year or two before that, Ireland took a first aid class. The handwriting seemed to be on the wall before a teenaged Ireland took serious note of it. He moved through the ranks from basic to intermediate EMT and then to paramedic. By 2002, he was offered a job as a firefighter, which was a major goal.

Much of it has been about community service, he said.

“I had some family members who are volunteer firefighters and I was interested in that. I actually took a first aid class and I was probably 14 or 15 years old. I join the volunteer fire department in Alexander when I was 16,” he said. “And then I got involved taking the EMT classes and always stayed involved in it, and then in 1999, the opportunity came up to do it. There's a job. Yeah. It turned into a great career.”

The Batavian asked Ireland to name a few scenarios about …
The most surprising thing about being a firefighter:
“Just how much of the camaraderie there is of the folks I work with, the family atmosphere. It's unlike any other profession, any other job that I've been a part of before,” he said. “It's pretty special to be a part of the fire department; just that family atmosphere. It's odd, because, people I work with, I know their wives, their families, their kids. You know, it's a little different than a regular office job, per se.”

A scary moment on the job: “I don't want to sound corny, but there's always like, people call us on their worst day. And when other people are running away, we're running in. So it's, I guess, it's always kind of scary, but it's the training and that in the preparation we've had for that we understand what to do and how to handle it. So I never really was scared, just, I was more prepared and handled it.”

A ritual or routine at the start of every day: “When I came to work, whether it was a day shift or night shift, or certain routines we go through, especially as the captain, the shift commander, it was my responsibility to put together the log sheet for that shift: who was working and what position, and that was part of our accountability system,” he said. “So we knew who was assigned to what position and what vehicles and that's when the commander comes on shift, whether it's day or night shift, that's the first thing we do. And then, I always called it ‘walking the floor,’ where I would go out to the vehicles, I would put those assignment sheets in each vehicle and I would get my gear out, set my gear out by my riding spot at engine 11. And get it ready so I could get into it at a moment's notice to go on a call … to give me a sense of okay, if there was a certain vehicle out for service, so which vehicles were we using that day or that night. A routine just so I knew that I was prepared for myself and for my crew.”

A most rewarding time on the job: “Not one specific one, a moment that blew me away. But one of the most rewarding parts I feel that I got to do was being the fire prevention officer. And when I was able to go out into, whether it was the schools or wherever we're doing a fire prevention program, and just have that face-to-face interaction. Especially with the kids. And I hope that would be my lasting legacy that I was able to make a positive impression on the kids, and whether it's to reduce their fear of firefighters or to make them more confident if there was an emergency, so that they knew what to do,” he said. “I always thought I was lucky that I was able to be the fire prevention officer and coordinate those visits with the schools and stuff. And over the last two years, it's been difficult with COVID, yeah, but we've definitely, we got creative with it.”

Lessons you have learned: “That there's a lot of really good-hearted people here in Genesee County, and in this area is incredible. A lot of times we encountered people on their worst day. And something so bad can be going on in their life, but a lot of times people keep a positive mindset. It's incredible. Especially in this day and age, you don't see that too much right? A lot of people are like, something could be going so bad, but they'll be like, well, it could be worse, you know, they put a positive spin on it. And going to the schools, the teachers, the administrators, they're incredible. The work they do for the kids in this community is something else.”

Top two memories that will always be with you: 1. “My first call I ever took back in 1999, in my first day working, I always remember that.” 2. “The year 2009 was a tough time. (The city proposed selling off the ambulance service.) And I was intimately involved with that being the union president at the time. So yeah, it was that transition. Just the way it all transpired. I wish there was more open communication between the city and us at the time. There wasn’t, and we moved on from it.”

That’s not to say he doesn’t recall those many other firefighting situations, he said. There was a time when a woman was hanging out of a window, desperate to get out of the burning home. He could see her head out of the second story window as a ladder was going up to get her out.

“And as we're climbing the ladder, she handed a baby out the window,” he said incredulously.

Ireland also climbed the professional ladder, from firefighter to lieutenant in 2015 and captain in 2018.

“I definitely enjoyed being a firefighter … that was the ultimate goal, to get promoted to the fire department as a firefighter. And on the flip side of that, from the 13 years I was a firefighter to become lieutenant, I really enjoyed my time as a firefighter, and almost thankful for the time I got to spend being a firefighter before being promoted to an officer, if that makes sense,” he said. “Just to be a firefighter, to learn the craft, and to enjoy that part of the job before being, and I was very thankful to be, promoted, but to be a firefighter before being promoted into the management side of things.”

He saw a saying somewhere about a parent only having 18 summers to spend with their kids before they go off to college. That has motivated Ireland to dig even deeper into family life and enjoy his family, including wife Ginelle, and two daughters, Lauren, 10, and 7-year-old Morgan. There will be outdoor gatherings, swimming, fishing, exploring new parks, lots of day trips, a yearly trek to the Adirondacks and a couple times a year in Florida, he said.

“And it doesn't seem like a lot. But I I know from when I was a kid, how busy my parents were,” he said.

Now for the exciting part of his story, as Ireland more fully launches the business he purchased in January. It began around this time a year ago when he began to talk with Jim Russell, a former City Councilman who owned Southern Tier Fire Extinguisher. Russell was planning to retire, and Ireland saw another opportunity, he said.

“I purchased the company, the assets, the equipment, the inventory,” Ireland said. “I wouldn't say a name change is  out of the question in the future … obviously, Southern Tier Fire Extinguisher is because where it originated was in Wayland. So it just made sense. Obviously, he gained a lot more business in this area and kept the southern tier, and I hope to do the same.”

The business covers the service, inspection and recharging of fire extinguishers. He will also work with fire suppression systems in kitchens, restaurants and automotive fire suppression systems and service bays as well, he said.

“It's crazy, pretty much just the opportunity, that it's been a great career, and I've been so fortunate that, in 1999, like I said, it was the best day of my life to start at the fire department, and I was just lucky to be a part of that,” he said. “My hope is that I did well and it continues with the next generation. The only thing constant is change. And the people change and I'm sure they're gonna do great at it.”

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Top photo: Captain Greg Ireland of the City of Batavia Fire Department at this year's Memorial Day parade; and posing with his family when he was sworn in as lieutenant of the city fire department in 2015. His daughters are "super excited" to spend more time with dad now that he has retired from the City of Batavia Fire Department, he says. Submitted photos.

May 24, 2022 - 8:15am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, city council, notify, City Fire.

A new fire engine — at a total cost of about $700,000 — is on the horizon for the city of Batavia after City Council approved a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development funding offer Monday.

Council approved Rural Development’s proposed funding of a $630,000 loan at 2.5 percent interest for 20 years; an estimated grant of $50,000; and the city’s own contribution of $20,000 to come from fire department reserves, City Manager Rachael Tabelski said.

“We need to replace engine 12. This is in the capital plan for vehicle replacement. It is a 20-year-old fire apparatus pumper. The estimated costs a month or two ago was $700,000, and whether that holds true today, we'll see,” Tabelski said during a special business meeting at City Hall. “I recommend that we accept this funding offer from USDA Rural Development. If we do so by the end of June, it's basically an informal letter from myself to them to move forward in the process. We'll be able to lock in the interest rate at 2.5. Interest rates are supposed to go up again at the end of June.”

The current engine 12 has been showing “extreme corrosion,” she said in a memo to council members. Excessive road salting during winter months has caused corrosion and decay on the engine body, chassis and wiring, and the fire engine has had many repairs in the last few years — repairs that are becoming more costly, she said.

The new engine will be a 2023 National Fire Protection Association compliant rescue-style fire engine with a custom cab, seating for six fire personnel, 1,500 gallons per minute fire pump with foam capability, a 750-gallon water tank, the latest safety features, full LED emergency and scene lights and aluminum or stainless steel construction for longevity.

City Council unanimously approved the resolution to accept Rural Development’s funding offer and to transfer $20,000 out of fire reserves to be used for the deal.

April 25, 2022 - 11:14pm
posted by Joanne Beck in City Fire, batavia, news.

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Martin (Marty) Hinz was recognized for his 23 years of service during Batavia City Council’s conference meeting Monday evening.

Hinz “brought knowledge and dedication to the city,” with his first promotion to lieutenant, followed later to captain, at the Batavia City Fire Department. He “displayed a calm and composed demeanor” in the face of chaotic situations, council members said.

Photo by Howard Owens

March 25, 2022 - 1:49pm
posted by Press Release in news, notify, PAARI, City Fire.

greg_ireland_1.jpgPress release:

More than ever, people struggling with substance use disorder need to know there are places they can go for immediate help – free of judgment and criminal implications. That’s why Genesee County’s Public Safety Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative locations are so important.

This month marks the second anniversary of the opening of the PAARI site at the City of Batavia Fire Department – a significant event as the department is the first from New York State to participate in PAARI and one of only a few fire companies in a network of more than 600 police and public safety agencies in 34 states.

“We wholeheartedly believe in the PAARI program,” said Fire Captain Greg Ireland (photo at right), “so much so that we’ve incorporated this program into the training and orientation of new firefighters coming out of the academy.”

Ireland said community members have come to the fire headquarters on Evans Street for support in recent months, just as others dealing with substance use disorder have reached out to the county’s other PAARI locations -- the Batavia City Police Department, Le Roy Police Department and Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

He also said firefighters regularly give out the business cards and postcards featuring the “help hotline” phone numbers when they go out on emergency medical service calls.

“It's just another level of involvement that we can try to reach out to the community and offer them the help they may need and the resources that they're out there,” he said.

Funded by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, the City of Batavia Fire Department renovated its foyer area for the PAARI program and opened to the public in March 2020. Due to the COVID-19 shutdown, however, the grand opening event that was scheduled for that spring had to be postponed.

An official launch took place on July 13, 2021 with more than 50 people – including Allie Hunter, PAARI’s executive director – in attendance.

“This month, we are celebrating two years of the Batavia Fire Department as a PAARI partner and a great resource to those that may be in need of services in our community,” said Christen Ferraro, coordinator of the GOW Opioid Task Force. “Throughout the pandemic, all locations continued to be open and available for our residents.”

Other Genesee locations include the Genesee County Sheriff Office, City of Batavia Police Department and Village of Le Roy Police Department.

PAARI provides support and resources to help law enforcement agencies nationwide create non-arrest pathways to treatment and recovery. Anyone in the community dealing with addiction issues can walk into these locations, any time of the day or night and receive help, without judgment.

March 15, 2022 - 10:44am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, city of batavia, Batavia City Council, City Fire.

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It seems as though fire truck No. 12 is the “little engine that can’t” – for very much longer.

City of Batavia Manager Rachael Tabelski reported at Monday night’s City Council Business Meeting that the city fire department’s Engine 12 (photo above) is 20 years old and is just about ready to be retired from service.

“We have in our capital plan a fire truck replacement for Engine 12 and we are looking at getting grant funding from CDBG (Community Development Block Grant),” Tabelski said. “And before we submit a full application, they ask that municipalities go through a pre-application process.

“It’s a 2002 (model) that we will be replacing and the estimated cost is 700,000 dollars.”

From there, she turned it over to Interim Fire Chief Dan Herberger, who provided more details about Engine 12, including its shortcomings in the area of technology.

“We’re looking at replacing it with something very similar to our frontline engine, which is Engine 11,” he said. “It’s a rescue, fire engine-type style; basically, think of it as a fire engine with rescue capabilities.”

Herberger explained that the department operates with two main pieces of apparatus – one for the on-duty staff, “so we basically have to take everything with us, all the time.”

He said Engine 12 doesn’t have the safety features that come with today’s fire trucks, such as lighting and the ability to hook generators to the trucks. He also said the current vehicle has signs of rust.

“Right now, we’re in the design phase – looking at various vehicles from around the region to see what best fits our needs,” he said.

Tabelski, answering a question from City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr., said she is hoping to receive $200,000 from the grant. Coupled with $400,000 that is in reserves, the city would be close to covering the full cost of the new truck – likely in 2023-24.

Herberger said there would be little trade-in value for Engine 12, noting that it would be 22 years old by the time a new truck was delivered to the city.

He said he remembers the sale of an old ladder truck to a tree trimming company in North Carolina but the monetary return “really didn’t offset anything too much.”

When asked if the cost of the new truck was a bottom line price, Herberger said the department may have to purchase “a few miscellaneous pieces of equipment for it.”

“In the past years, we’ve really tried to standardize all of our vehicles, so hose complement, rescue tools and hand tools, they’re pretty much the same throughout everything, so that bottom line price would be with equipment,” he said.

February 17, 2022 - 3:20pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, City Fire.

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About seven months after stepping in as the City of Batavia interim fire chief, Dan Herberger apparently has decided that he doesn’t want the job on a permanent basis.

In a letter dated today to fire department personnel, Herberger informed his colleagues that he has declined the position, calling it “an extremely difficult decision for me to make that was based on two very basic reasons that I could not get past.”

He wrote that those two reasons were that the timing wasn’t right for his family and him and “his overall love I have for the job and the desire to be a fireman working on a fire truck.”

Herberger was named interim chief in July 2021 when Stefano Napolitano resigned as fire chief to take the deputy state fire administrator on the State University of Albany campus.

Continuing with the letter, Herberger mentioned that he enjoyed being the fire chief and was thankful for the support he received from city management, department heads and those that he supervised.

“As a department, we are very fortunate to have the relationships we do with our partners in other city departments as well as our partners in the county Emergency Management, area fire departments and local emergency services agencies,” he wrote. “It is an absolute joy to have worked with everyone in this capacity … making this decision that much more difficult.”

He wrote that he plans to stay on as the interim chief until a replacement is found.

“It is the hope of the city manager (Rachael Tabelski) that my replacement will be from within this department and over the next several weeks/months, we will work to find the right replacement,” he wrote.

Herberger, a captain prior to the interim appointment, has worked for the fire department since 2002, starting as a paramedic. He was promoted to firefighter in 2005, lieutenant in 2012 and captain in 2013.  Previously, he served in the interim chief role for 16 months prior to the hiring of Napolitano in April 2017.

Responding to an email from The Batavian, Tabelski issued the following statement:

"Dan Herberger is a great Captain and a great Fire Chief.  I respect his decision to decline the offer of the position of Fire Chief at this time, and am grateful that he will remain in the department working for the City of Batavia.  He is a valuable member of our team.

Herberger will continue to serve as Interim Fire Chief until a new Chief is hired.  I am soliciting internal candidates, and hope the position can be filled from within the department." 

File photo: City Police Chief Shawn Heubusch, left, and Interim Fire Chief Dan Herberger. Photo by Jim Burns.

Previously: Napolitano shows humility as he bids farewell to the city; Dan Herberger to assume role as interim fire chief

February 1, 2022 - 12:33pm
posted by Press Release in City Fire, news, batavia.

Press  release:

As 2021 has drawn to a close, the City of Batavia Fire Department has evaluated the services and programs provided throughout the year in its continuous quality improvement process.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected the City Fire operations and we continue to develop our operational model and service delivery in response.  Our mission calls us to protect and preserve life, property, and the environment and we do a great job providing professional service at the highest level to residents of the City of Batavia,” said Dan Herberger, City of Batavia Fire Chief.

As a result, the department is regularly evaluating policies, procedures, and service delivery programs and began the hiring process in October of 2021 to fill several firefighter vacancies.  Below is a year-end summary for 2021.

Total alarms for 2021                                                             2390

  • Fires, 66
  • Overpressure Rupture, Explosion, Overheating, 7
  • Emergency Medical Services, 1580
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents, 63
  • Pedestrian Struck, 17
  • Extrication (vehicle, machinery, building), 5
  • Elevator Rescue, 4
  • Ice / Swift Water Rescue, 2
  • Hazardous Conditions, 90
  • Service Calls, 132
  • Good Intent Calls, 110
  • Fire / Carbon Monoxide Alarm Activations, 301
  • Severe Weather, 7
  • Special Incident Type, 6
  • Mutual Given, 25
  • Mutual Received, 15
  • Busiest Month, December (234)
  • Busiest Day, Tuesday (375)             
  • Busiest Time of Day, 1000 – 1059 hrs. (160)
  • Slowest Month, January (150)
  • Slowest Day, Sunday (280)
  • Slowest Time of Day, 0400 – 0459 hrs. (38)
  • City Response Time (Time of Dispatch to on-scene arrival):
    • 10 minutes or less         99%
    • 8 minutes or less           97%
    • 6 minutes or less           90 %
    • 4 minutes or less           61 %
  • Times two or more calls for service simultaneously, 519
  • Fire prevention programs – 31events, 104 adult / 2124 children Points of Contact  (Includes: station tours, fire drills, school visits)
  • Fire Extinguisher Training, 19 events, 691 points of contact
  • Smoke Alarm / CO alarm installs, 29
  • Smoke alarm / CO alarm battery replacements, 21
  • Juvenile Fire Setter Interventions, 2
  • Car Seat Installation / inspections, 158
  • Special Events Inspections, 80
  • Commercial Building Inspection, 334
  • Multi-family Dwelling Inspections, 38                              

Overall, the total call volume for the year was up by approximately 5%. 

“I want to thank all of the City of Batavia Fire Fighters, staff, partners in other City departments, County emergency service partners, mutual aid partners, residents, and businesses for their support and assistance to the department.  I look forward to a safe and healthy 2022,” said Dan Herberger, Fire Chief. 

As always, you can contact the City of Batavia Fire Headquarters for any questions that you may have at 585-345-6375.

December 14, 2021 - 4:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Operation Warm, IAFF Local 896, batavia, City Fire, news.

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For the first time since 2015, City of Batavia Firefighters Local 896 handed out warm jackets to children in the community as part of Operation Warm.

This year, the program was backed by a generous $2,000 donation from Batavia Downs, along with $300 from the union and another $600 in community donations. 

There were 144 jackets handed out yesterday at Robert Morris, including a pink one to Sophia Bell, 8, with her father, Jon Bell, looking on.

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December 12, 2021 - 1:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, weather, National Grid, news.

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National Grid and City Fire are teaming up today during the area's widespread power outages to distribute dry ice and bottled water to residents without power.

The distribution location is at City Fire headquarters on Evans Street.

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December 10, 2021 - 3:24pm

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WBTA, Ken Barrett Chevrolet, the Salvation Army, and City Fire teamed up today for the radio station's annual toy drive.  Area residents were invited to drop by the dealership to leave new, unwrapped presents for children in the community.

Top Photo: Lorne Way, WBTA, Ken Barrett, Lt. Jamie Call, Firefighter Ferdinando Papalia, Todd Rapp, Salvation Army, and Nici Johnson, WBTA.

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October 29, 2021 - 9:50pm
posted by James Burns in news, fire, City Fire.

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A multi-unit residence at North and Ross is suspected of having a small electrical wiring fire "in the wall or something," according to the property owner. All inhabitants were able to safely evacuate the structure. Ross Street is closed south of North Street.  

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October 15, 2021 - 12:42pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, City Fire, batavia, news, Operation Warm.

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Press release:

Western Region Off-Track Betting (WROTB) President and CEO Henry Wojtaszek was joined by Batavia Downs employees and members of the Batavia Fire Department as a check for $2,000 was presented to Operation Warm.  Operation Warm provides brand new shoes and coats to needy children across North America.

“As we move into the winter season, we know that some local families are in need of high-quality coats and shoes for their children,” Wojtaszek said. “We have worked alongside and with the City of Batavia Fire Department for many years and we are happy to contribute to causes that they support. “

A portion of proceeds from sold tickets to the Batavia Downs’ Bourbon & Whiskey Fest and Vodka & Gin Fest held in the fall are what make up this contribution.

Greg Ireland, Captain of the City of Batavia Fire Department said, “We are very thankful for this partnership and contribution.  By partnering with Operation Warm we are able to ensure that the money raised by Batavia Downs at their events is staying here with local families.  We appreciate that Batavia Downs recognizes the challenges that many in our community are facing.”

New York State Assemblyman Steve Hawley added, “This generous donation will help keep children throughout our region healthy and comfortable in the cold, something incredibly important as we come to face what’s shaping up to be a tough winter season. I am incredibly grateful to Batavia Downs for their support of Operation Warm, and to the Batavia Fire Department for continuing their work to coordinate this successful, critical program.”

Photo by Howard Owens

October 12, 2021 - 7:17pm
posted by Press Release in City Fire, IAFF Local 896, batavia, news.

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Press release:

Everyone knows that Western New York winters can be long, snowy and brutally cold. Can you imagine being a child trying to get to and from school in these conditions and not having a warm coat to wear?

The City of Batavia Firefighters Local 896 is once again teaming up with Operation Warm to provide winter coats to children in our community. Local 896 has partnered with Batavia Downs raising money to purchase brand new American made winter coats so children can comfortably and confidently get to school this winter.

In the past Local 896 has donated more than 300 coats through Operation Warm. Our goal this year is to raise enough funds to purchase 300 coats. City firefighters will coordinate with Batavia Community Schools and distribute coats in the coming months.

To donate easily and securely please visit:

https://secure.givelively.org/donate/operation-warm-inc/team-up-with-city-of-batavia-firefighters?fbclid=IwAR3lcxk0tMnKQQ94zKuf74S1YQKXBDt7YslkKcwWCknXrHmigUo8C8KBAfQ

Thank you for your continued support.

October 6, 2021 - 1:43pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, City Fire, Tracy Avenue.

Story and photos by Alecia Kaus

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Just before noon today, the City of Batavia Fire Department responded to 127 Tracy Ave. for a report of smoke coming from the roof vents of a single-family home after an alert neighbor reported seeing smoke coming from the roof. 

"When we arrived on scene there was some smoke coming out of the roof area, we made entry and found a fire that appeared to originate in the kitchen. Nobody was home at the time," said Interim Chief Dan Herberger.   

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

"We will look for any mechanical issues or stove issues, it definitely started in the kitchen in the stove area," he said.

Herberger said a pet cat died in the fire.

The house is not a total loss, but did suffer a significant amount of smoke damage. 

"It was an oxygen-deprived fire so there was a whole lot of smoke and not a lot of fire," the chief reported.

The fire was contained to the kitchen area which also suffered water damage, no one was injured.

Herberger says at least one person is displaced due to the fire.

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October 1, 2021 - 10:23am
posted by Press Release in City Fire, news, batavia.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®)—the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years—to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.” This year’s campaign, October 3-9th, works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe. 

The City of Batavia Fire Department encourages all residents to embrace the 2021 Fire Prevention Week theme.  “It’s important to learn the different sounds of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. When an alarm makes noise—a beeping sound or a chirping sound—you must take action!” said Dan Herberger, Fire Chief. “Make sure everyone in the home understands the sounds of the alarms and knows how to respond. To learn the sounds of your specific smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, check the manufacturer’s instructions that came in the box, or search the brand and model online.”

The City Batavia Fire Department wants to share safety tips to help you “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety”

  • A continuous set of three loud beeps—beep, beep, beep—means smoke or fire. Get out, call 9-1-1, and stay out.
  • A single chirp every 30 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be changed.
  • All smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years.
  • Chirping that continues after the battery has been replaced means the alarm is at the end of its life and the unit must be replaced.
  • Make sure your smoke and CO alarms meet the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
  • The City of Batavia Fire Department is hosting a series of events in support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety”, including several presentations at area schools, residences, and the library.

Along with our public events, The City of Batavia Fire Department has a FREE smoke alarm installation program,” said Fire Chief Herberger. “If you do not have a smoke detector or if you are unsure the batteries are working properly, members of the City of Batavia Fire Department will come to your home and ensure that you have a working smoke detector, absolutely free of charge. Call (585) 345-6375 to set up an in-home appointment.”

September 25, 2021 - 2:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, UMMC, batavia, news.

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City Fire and UMMC hosted a free child safety seat check at the Fire Hall this morning.

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September 15, 2021 - 11:10am
posted by Press Release in news, Western New York Concrete, Batavia PD, City Fire.

Press release from Batavia Police Department:

On 09/14/2021 at approximately 12:57 PM, the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center received a call regarding a male who became stuck in a stone bin at Western NY Concrete, located at 638 E Main St, Batavia, NY.

The City of Batavia Fire Department, City of Batavia Police Department, and Mercy EMS responded to assist.

The City Fire Department was able to extricate the victim but he was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim was identified as Randy Ridd, 64, of Batavia.

The Genesee County Coroner’s Office sent the victim to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death. The Batavia Police Department conducted an investigation into the incident, which appears to be accidental at this time.

September 14, 2021 - 2:25pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia PD, City Fire, Western New York Concrete.

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A man working at Western New York Concrete Corp. at 638 East Main St. died this afternoon after becoming stuck in a stone bin, Batavia Police Department Chief Shawn Heubusch reported.

"About 12:57 (p.m.), the Batavia Fire Department along with the city police department were dispatched to Western New York Concrete for a report of a male stuck in a stone bin," Heubusch said. "Upon arrival, ... the employees that were working were trying to extricate the gentleman from the stone bin. City fire made an extrication; unfortunately, the individual has passed. We're not going to be releasing the name at this point and time, pending notification of family members."

Batavia Fire Chief Dan Herberger explained that at the concrete operation, "several tons of stone dust, which is a very fine dust that is used for concrete production. It's a big hopper that's very wide at the top and narrow at the bottom."

Herberger said the stone bin, which is located in a blue building toward the back of the lot, is "an internal thing that has a belt that takes the stone dust up into where they need it to create concrete, and he fell into the hopper and was buried."

He said the cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner, who arrived on the scene shortly before 2 p.m.

The fire chief said when his crews arrived they initially assessed what type of equipment was in operation as to not endanger firefighters

"Just taking control of equipment and ... do some disassembling just to get him out," he said, adding that the victim was in the bin for about 30 minutes after the time of the call.

Herberger said this situation differed from grain bin incidents because the stone dust is much finer than grain and "is very heavy."

He said all city firefighters on duty responded to the scene while another platoon was called into to cover fire headquarters. Heubusch said several police officers were at the scene as well as detectives who will be taking statements and assisting the fire department in the investigation.

"Our thoughts go out to the families and the employees here at WNY Concrete," he said. "They did make an attempt at a rescue to save this gentlemen, so please keep them in your thoughts and prayers."

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Police Chief Shawn Heubusch and Fire Chief Dan Herberger.

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City Fire Lt. Dave Green

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Photos by Jim Burns

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