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September 11, 2021 - 12:01pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, September 11th, batavia police department, City Fire.

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This morning’s 9/11 remembrance at the Veness-Strollo Post 1602 VFW grounds included speeches from Det. Sgt. Matt Lutey (at right in photo above) of the Batavia Police Department and Lt. Dave Green of the Batavia Fire Department – both of whom said the events of that tragic day prompted them to enlist or re-enlist, respectively, in the military.

Here are their speeches:

Det. Sgt. Matt Lutey

It truly is an honor to be here among fellow service men and women who have served and those who continue to serve, and I would just like to take a moment to say thanks for what you do.

I just came across an article the other day that compared the two biggest military recruitment surges as Pearl Harbor and 9/11. The unique aspect of this is that those who enlisted after these events knew what they were signing up for.

It wasn’t for free college tuition and it wasn’t for pay or any other benefit. It was to step forward and fight for our country. I was in high school when 9/11 happened.

I’ll never forget the events of that day. I’ll never forget how I felt. I will never forget driving around after school and seeing everyone putting up American flags.

I will never forget the pride I felt for our country after that tragic day. I will never forget the images of first responders running toward the World Trade Center towers to help people while the majority of people were running away.

I will never forget the images of the men and women in the armed forces bringing the fight to the enemy who had the audacity to attack us on our soil that day.

I will never forget coming home to my dad on the phone with an Army recruiter, only to be turned down because he was too old to join.

The events of 9/11 and our country responses shaped the better part of my life. I was one of many of the post-9/11 military recruitment surge as I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force after I graduated from high school in 2003.

I served six years as a TACP (Tactical Air Control Party Officer) calling in air strikes for my Army counterparts. I completed three tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After I was honorable discharged, I knew that I wanted to continue to serve but in a capacity that was more personal to me.

I was fortunate enough to join the Batavia Police Department where I have had the privilege of serving my community for the past 11 years. In no way do I share this story for personal accolades. I share it because I believe it our duty to educate the next generation about duty, service and sacrifice.

Lt. Dave Green

I had been discharged from the Army National Guard just a couple of years before that. I went to work that morning, met up with my partner on the ambulance, and we went to work – met up with the other ambulance crew for the day and had just gotten some breakfast at the hospital that morning.

It’s strange but I remember details of that morning but the rest of the day was a blur. After seeing the planes hit the towers and the other locations, and the continuous news reports, I can remember feeling helpless and feeling a need to do something.

In the hours that passed, we sat and watched our world change. I’m proud to say that the City of Batavia Fire Department stepped up and sent crews to New York City as soon as we were able. However, I was not in that response.

So, for me, there still a feeling I needed to do something. After a discussion with my wife, I decided to get back in the military in a reserve capacity. As time passed, I still felt the draw and eventually got my time to serve.

I eventually deployed on three separate occasions to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The City of Batavia supported my efforts and allowed me to keep my medical coverage for my family while I was serving overseas.

I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve my country and to be able to serve the community where I live. On this anniversary of this tragedy I’m drawn to a memory of one of my deployments, where a sign hung that said, “Today is September 12th.”

For me that means a chance to help pick up the pieces; to show that we are stronger than that event. I’m proud to be a veteran, a firefighter and a member of this community.

June 29, 2021 - 10:41am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, city council, City Fire.

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As is his style, City of Batavia Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano humbly took a bow Monday night as he prepares to move on to a New York State-level position next month, while giving all the credit for his success to his employees and thanking city management and staff for the opportunity to serve over the past four years.

“It has been amazing times and tough times, but through it all I was successful because of my team over there,” Napolitano said, pointing to the 10 firefighters who came to the City Council meeting in honor of their chief. “I’m just the guy that signs the payroll -- I point a little bit and throw an idea out -- but it’s the staff here in the City of Batavia Fire Department that makes everything happen.”

Napolitano quickly endeared himself to city leaders and residents after accepting the position in April 2017, relocating after a productive career as deputy fire chief for the Village of Herkimer.

City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. called Napolitano, a Queens native, a great leader and said he will be missed.

“Hopefully, we’ll be seeing you back and helping out in our area, and I wish you all the best,” Jankowski said.

City Manager Rachael Tabelski thanked Napolitano for his work.

“I’ve only had the pleasure of working with you for about two years, but they’ve been great years,” she said. “You really are a true leader to your staff – and everyone here is a testament (to that).”

LEAVING IS ‘VERY BITTERSWEET’

Moved by a standing ovation from all in attendance, Napolitano quickly deflected any credit away from himself.

“They (his staff) allowed me to come in here four years ago; didn’t know anything about me, a transplant from 175 miles away,” he said. “They immediately accepted me and it’s been a great partnership – relationship. I’m fortunate to say that I know pretty much all of their family members.”

Napolitano said the situation is “very bittersweet.”

“This job is an opportunity to serve more firefighters at the state level, but it’s very bittersweet leaving my new home,” he said.

On July 19, he begins his new job as deputy state fire administrator, working out of an office in a building on the State University of Albany campus. The state position is affiliated with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. His final day in Batavia is July 9.

He said he expects to do a fair amount of traveling in his new position and likely will be back at some point. He then thanked city management and staff.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure and honor, and I thank everyone.”

HERBERGER TO STEP IN

Tabelski then announced the appointment of Capt. Dan Herberger as interim fire chief – a position that Herberger held for 16 months before Napolitano was hired.

Herberger has climbed up the ranks, joining the department as a paramedic in 2002 before being promoted to firefighter in 2005, lieutenant in 2012 and captain in 2013.

Contacted this morning, Herberger said he’s prepared to take the reins on an interim basis, but is in an exploration stage as far as the permanent position is concerned.

“There were two other captains that were interested and we did a lot of talking amongst ourselves … so, at this point I’m really exploring – again – the position,” he said. “You know, a lot has changed with me in four years but a lot hasn’t changed with me in four years, with family situation and the like.”

He said he’s looking at the full-time chief position “very critically and taking all points of interest in.”

Married with three children, ages 17, 13 and 11, the Lancaster resident said he’s coming in to the interim role objectively and was willing to “take another crack at it.”

Speaking of the two other captains, Herberger, 47, said they decided to talk to Tabelski individually and let the process play out. He said no timetable has been set as far as when the permanent position is filled.

“We have some meetings coming up with Chief Napolitano during the transition, but we haven’t got into anything much past that,” he said. “I’m sure that eventually Rachael and I will sit down and discuss the details (of the chief’s position).”

Herberger said he has always desired to be a part of the community he serves, never wanting his place of residence to interfere with his responsibilities in Batavia.

KEY IS TREATING PEOPLE RIGHT

“I always try to treat people like they’re my neighbors,” he said. “Just because I live in Lancaster … I treat people like I want my mother to be treated, and that has always served me well and people accepted that.”

Napolitano said he backed Herberger, stating that he’s “a strong captain supported by a strong group. The city is very well served.”

And Herberger had nothing but good things to say about Napolitano.

“I always said that coming into a department from a different part of the state has to be difficult because you don’t know all of the inner workings … but he – I think it’s his personality – came in and really took the bull by the horns and made a conscious effort of forging relationships and putting the fire department in a positive light,” he said.

“He was open and honest with us, and even though we might not have agreed with him every time, we always appreciated that.”

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Photo at top: Batavia Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano thanks city officials and staff for supporting him throughout his four-year tenure. Photo at bottom: Staff members, including Capt. Dan Herberger, second from right, attended the City Council meeting. Herberger has been appointed as interim fire chief. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

June 11, 2021 - 11:46am
posted by Billie Owens in news, notify, batavia, City Fire.

From submitted statements; file photo:

Stefano Napolitano, chief of the City of Batavia Fire Department, has accepted a new job as deputy state fire administrator and officially starts in mid-July.

Today's announcement from the state's Office of Fire Prevention and Control says Napolitano will bring a wealth of experience to the office, including both career and fire service, county emergency management, and as a State Fire Instructor.

He has degrees in mechanical engineering, fire protection technology, and a Master of Science degree in Executive Fire Science Leadership.

“I would like to congratulate Fire Chief Napolitano for his leadership and dedication to the City of Batavia Fire Department over the last four years," said City Manager Rachael Tabelski.

"It was a pleasure to work with the Chief and I wish him great success in his new role as Deputy State Fire Administrator with the Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC), part of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES).

"Chief Napolitano will continue to serve the City of Batavia until Friday July 9th. At such time an Interim Chief will be named. Please join me in congratulating him in his new role as a Deputy State Fire Administrator. "

City fire officers also congratulated the chief in a written statement, saying "Chief Napolitano has been an asset to the City Fire Department since being appointed in 2017. We wish him continued success and look forward to working with him in his new position."

Chief Napolitano is a Queens native who lived in the Mohawk Valley for about 45 of his 54 years.

Before coming to Batavia, Napolitano was deputy fire chief for the Village of Herkimer. While there, he assisted in development, revision and implementation of local disaster and emergency management plans, along with assisting in the county 9-1-1 dispatch communication center and the administration of the county’s mutual aid plan, mutual aid radio system and state fire training.

April 19, 2021 - 10:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia, news.

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City fire crews were with Ladder 15 out behind the Batavia Ice Rink on Evans Street this morning giving it a good scrub before re-greasing it to help the equipment operate more smoothly. The task is part of the ladder truck's regular maintenance.

March 9, 2021 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, news, City Fire, batavia.

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Firefighters with the City Fire Department are taking advantage of the ice still floating atop DeWitt Pond in Batavia for cold-water rescue training.

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February 24, 2021 - 1:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stefano Napolitano, livestream, video, City Fire, batavia.
Video Sponsor

 Interview with City Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano

February 4, 2021 - 5:17pm
posted by Press Release in City Fire, Adopt a Fire Hydrant, news.

Press release:

With another impending winter storm approaching coupled with the snowfall already received Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano and the members of the City of Batavia Fire Department are encouraging residents to “adopt a fire hydrant” near their home or business this winter season. 

The department is asking residents and business owners for their assistance in keeping fire hydrants clear of snow and debris. Also, this is an informal program and therefore it is not necessary to advise the department about which fire hydrants you will be keeping clear.

Napolitano added “if possible, we ask that the 'adopted' hydrants be uncovered of snow after each snowfall and provide a clear path of approximately three feet around the hydrant. This path will allow firefighters to quickly locate the hydrant and obtain a water supply used in firefighting activities."

Delays in locating and securing a water source can hamper fire suppression activities, raising the risk of injury and furthering property damage.

Additionally, please consider helping a neighbor who may be elderly or may need assistance in keeping the fire hydrant clear near their residence.

“Together we can help keep our City safe this winter season," Napolitano said. 

Lastly, the department asks residents and business owners to contact fire headquarters at (585) 345-6375 if they require assistance in clearing their hydrant or notice damage to the hydrant or the reflective marker attached to the hydrant.

February 3, 2021 - 1:57pm
posted by Press Release in City Fire, news.

Press release:

As 2020 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.

According to Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano, “the current pandemic has forced the department to implement a number of significant changes to our operational model and service delivery. Our service to the public remains our main mission.

"We are here to serve and these changes ensure that we are able to continue to provide the highest levels of service during this most unsettling time. Our ability to maintain our core mission and essential services such as fire protection and emergency medical services hinges on the ability of our staff to respond in the most efficient and sensible way possible while ensuring the health and safety of fire department staffing.”

Here's the summary for 2020:

  • Total Incidents -- 2,264
  • Fires -- 55 (vehicle, cooking, chimney, vegetation, forest, brush, rubbish, dumpster, outside equipment)
  • Building Fires -- 7
  • Overpressure Rupture, Explosion, Overheating -- 8
  • Rescue & Emergency Medical Services -- 1,451
  • Motor-vehicle Accidents -- 68
  • Elevator Rescue -- 3
  • Ice Rescue -- 1
  • Swift Water Rescue -- 2
  • Hazardous Conditions -- 120
  • Service Calls -- 120
  • Good Intent Calls -- 85
  • False Alarm & False Calls -- 310
  • Special incident Type -- 5
  • Mutual Aid Given -- 29

Busiest Month -- January

Busiest Day -- Wednesday

Busiest Time of Day -- 7 to 8 p.m.

Slowest Month -- April

Slowest Day -- Saturday

Slowest Time of Day -- 2 to 3 a.m.

Response Time (dispatched to on-scene arrival)

8 minutes or less -- 100 percent

6 minutes or less -- 88 percent

4 minutes or less -- 53 percent

Number of times of two or more simultaneous calls -- 454

In addition to answering calls for service, the City of Batavia Fire Department conducted the following Community Risk Reduction (CRR) services and programs.

  • Fire Prevention Programs -- 1,656 Points of Contact
  • Fire Extinguisher Training -- 720 Points of Contact
  • Smoke Detector Installations -- 27
  • Carbon Monoxide Detector installations -- 7
  • Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector Battery Installs -- 25
  • Car seat Inspection/Installation -- 72
  • Car Seat Replacements -- 7
  • Fire hydrants Flushed & Maintained -- 128
  • Fire Hydrants Flow Tested -- 12
  • Inspections, Commercial -- 354
  • Inspections, Multi-family -- 42

Overall, the total call volume for the year was down by approximately 5 percent as a result of the coronavirus pandemic especially during the first and second quarters of the year. However, at this time, call volume for the current year are trending higher.

Lastly, the Fire Department would like to express their thanks to the many individuals and businesses who have shown support throughout the past year.

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

November 24, 2020 - 9:27am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, city council, City Fire.

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The spirit of Thanksgiving filled the Council Board Room at the City Centre on Monday night when two City of Batavia firefighters were honored upon their retirement and the department received “invaluable” parting gifts from one of them in return.

Council members Robert Bialkowski and Kathleen Briggs read proclamations recognizing the work of Tom Douglas and Tim Stengel, who served the city for 22 and 20 years, respectively.

After each of the men had a chance to briefly express their feelings, Douglas presented – to a standing ovation -- the department with 10 personal thermal imaging cameras for each crew member to have when confronting a fire.

“We’ve always both believed that when you’re done with something, you should give something back,” Douglas said, looking at his wife, Debbie, who stood by his side.

He said he brought his idea to fellow employees, Adam Palumbo (the union president) and to Chief Stefano Napolitano and “we all came to an agreement.”

Douglas said the cameras will help keep firefighters safe.

“If we get a big incident, we’re covering a large warehouse or something, trying to find something, we’ve got two or three cameras,” he said. “Now, each one of the guys on the crew will have a personal camera that can go in to either help them find what they need or else to help them get out or locate a body and things like that.”

Napolitano, acknowledging the generous gift, said that “unless you’re in our line of work, you don’t really realize what an invaluable tool this is.”

“The ability of each firefighter to carry their own personal imaging camera while they’re inside of a structure doing an initial size-up is invaluable. This is an example of Tom and Tim as senior firefighters, even in retirement, they’re still giving and still mentoring.”

The chief said losing their experience hurts the department, but he is proud to know that the younger firefighters have “learned from two of the best.”

“The result is they learned how to become a senior firefighter because they’re going to do things better, they’re going to do things more smartly,” he said. “These 10 tools are going to enhance getting them to where you two guys are.”

Douglas started as part of the city’s ambulance crew before being promoted to firefighter in September 2000. He was respected as the driving force behind the department’s Emergency Medical Services program, being certified in several areas. He retired on Oct. 15.

Stengel, who retired on May 26, was recognized for being a mentor to new employees by sharing his knowledge and his professionalism.

Both expressed their love for the community and thanked city leaders, coworkers and family for their support.

Top photo: City Council Member Robert Bialkowski and retired firefighter Tom Douglas; bottom photo, City Council Member Kathleen Briggs and retired firefighter Tim Stengel. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

November 13, 2020 - 4:40pm
posted by Press Release in news, City Fire.

Press release:

At 8:03 am on Nov. 12, 2020, the City of Batavia Fire Department was dispatched to a reported residential fire with flames showing at located at 162 State St.. First arriving fire units were on-scene at 8:06 a.m.

Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy fire involvement on the first floor and extending up to the second floor. Responding crews made an aggressive attack and were able to contain the fire to the interior of the home and the situation was called under control by command at 8:34 a.m.

Due to the intensity of the fire, the home received significant damage throughout along with smoke and water damage. Additionally, three cats and a dog perished in the fire.

At this time the City of Batavia’s Fire Investigation team is investigating the fire to determine the origin and cause. Presently, the fire does not appear to be incendiary in nature. Once a determination has been made, we will be providing an additional media release with further information.

City fire was assisted at the scene by Mercy EMS, City of Batavia Police Department along with the Alexander, Elba and Town of Batavia fire departments with additional support provided by the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch and Office of Emergency Management Services.

October 31, 2020 - 4:15pm
posted by Press Release in City Fire, news, batavia.

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Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department joins fire departments nationwide in promoting the annual “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” campaign on Sunday, Nov. 1. Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano encourages all residents to adopt the simple, life-saving habit of changing smoke alarm batteries when they change their clocks back from daylight savings time to standard time.

“It’s an easy, inexpensive, and proven way to protect your family and your home,” Chief Napolitano said. “Plus with winter quickly approaching and most everyone turning their heating systems on, it also makes this an ideal time to make sure your heating system is working properly. This is a great opportunity to check your carbon monoxide detectors as well.”

Today’s home fires grow in size faster than ever, typically allowing as little as one to two minutes to escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds, due to current home furnishings burning faster and producing more toxic gases and smoke. One thing that is instrumental in reducing deaths is to close doors to prevent the fire from spreading and to facilitate escape.

Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with either no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms. Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing or dead batteries or disconnected wires. The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping; a working smoke alarm provides the critical extra time needed to get out safely.

According to the NFPA, the maximum life cycle of a smoke alarm is 10 years from the date of manufacture, not the date of installation. Beginning in 2002, all smoke alarms must have a manufacture date marked on the outside of the smoke alarm. If your smoke alarm does not have a manufacture date or if you’ve had it for more than 10 years, it needs to be replaced.

The City of Batavia Fire Department recommends purchasing smoke alarms with 10-year lithium batteries. All smoke alarms should be tested monthly.

"The City of Batavia Fire Department has a free smoke alarm installation program,” Chief Napolitano said. “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.”

Photo by Howard Owens.

October 15, 2020 - 6:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, news, batavia.

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If you see an Auburn Fire Department ladder truck rolling down the City of Batavia's roads, it's not lost.

City fire's Ladder 15 is taking a break from service for routine maintenance and the City of Auburn, which just put a new ladder truck into service, has loaned its 1991 ladder truck to Batavia.

A couple of years ago, the City of Rochester loaned Batavia a fire truck. Chief Stefano Napolitano said the truck loans are an example of how fire departments in the region support each other.

"We try to help each other out when we can," Napolitano said.

October 13, 2020 - 4:27pm
posted by Press Release in City Fire, fire safety, news, batavia.

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Submitted photos and story.

Last week, Jackson Primary and John Kennedy School participated in Fire Prevention Week.

Captain Greg Ireland, of the Batavia Fire Department, read a book and made informational videos that educated students about fire hazards and why it is important to stay safe in an emergency.

Students participated in a coloring contest where the winners received a grab bag and a picture with the BFD. Students also learned why fire prevention is so important. Jackson Primary students had the chance to Google Meet with students from John Kennedy where they shared information they learned about fire safety. 

On Oct. 6th and 7th, students from the two schools had the opportunity to see a real fire truck. They watched the firemen explain how the fire truck works and had the opportunity to see their gear and tools.

The students also donated a dalmatian mascot with the name J.K. Jackson to keep at the firehouse to remember how important and valuable their partnership with the Batavia Fire Department is.

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October 2, 2020 - 6:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia, news.

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This year as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, city firefighters are wearing pink ribbon pins on their lapels.

"It's a small way to show them that they are the real heroes," Chief Stephano Napolitano said. "Everyone calls firefighters the heroes but breast cancer survivors, those people who are fighting breast cancer, and those who lost the fight, they are the real heroes."

Napolitano's late mother survived breast cancer so this is a cause, he said, that is near and dear to his heart.

Submitted photos.

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September 24, 2020 - 3:18pm
posted by Press Release in news, hydrant flushing, City Fire.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing fire hydrants in the southeast quadrant of the city (south of East Main, east of Jackson Street) tomorrow (Sept. 25) and Monday, Sept. 28th.

Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. These tests may result in temporary discoloration of water in that area. As in the past, please do not attempt to wash any clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration of your water, run cold water for about five minutes or until clear.

This annual testing is essential to maintain the communities class III Insurance Service Office (ISO) public protection classification, and to assure that hydrants are operating efficiently for fire protection purposes. Along with maintaining the fire rating the test monitors the health of the city’s water system, identifies weak areas in the system, removes material that settle in the hydrant and cleans out the lines. Checking each hydrant improves crew knowledge of hydrant locations.

If you have any questions, or should at any time notice a hydrant in need of repair, please contact the fire department at (585) 345-6375.

September 21, 2020 - 1:17pm

Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department, will be offering free car seat inspections and education to parents and caregivers from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, at Fire Headquarters, located at 18 Evans St., by appointment only.

Please call (585) 345-6375 to schedule an appointment. This event is part of National Car Seat Check Saturday, and will include instruction on how to choose the right car seats for children, with an emphasis on how to install seats correctly.

Many parents and caregivers believe they know how to choose and use the correct restraint for their child, however these restraints are frequently used incorrectly. Car crashes are a leading killer of children, and the latest research from the U.S. Department of Transportation shows that nearly two out of three car seats are misused or installed improperly.

On Nov. 1, New York State implemented a law requiring all children age 2 and under to be secured in a rear-facing car seat. It is recommended keeping children rear-facing as long as possible, up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats. It’s the best way to keep them safe.

Once a child outgrows the rear-facing seat, he or she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat, a child should ride in a booster seat until tall enough to fit in a seat belt properly. The safest place for a child under the age of 13 is in the back seat.

National Seat Check Saturday is part of Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs from Sept. 20-26. The week is dedicated to teaching caregivers and parents about the importance of correctly choosing, installing, and using car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.

Parents and caregivers will also be reminded of the importance of registering car seats with manufacturers so they can be notified in the event of a recall.

September 18, 2020 - 11:09am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, City Fire, city council.

The Batavia City Council passed four resolutions this week to accept just shy of $75,000 in grants for the City of Batavia Fire Department, continuing what Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano describes as placing a priority on maximizing taxpayer dollars, meeting community needs and operating as efficiently as possible.

“Absolutely,” Napolitano said this morning to a question as to whether there is a concerted effort to find grants.

“We work together as a team to secure grants and accept gifts and donations. Our goal is to stretch that one dollar of taxpayer money into a dollar fifty or two dollars – to be fiscally responsible.”

During Napolitano’s three-and-a-half-year tenure as chief, more than $400,000 in grant funding has found its way to the fire department.

He said these grants – ranging from Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance to New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee funding to the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program – are especially vital in the wake of budget cuts brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All departments in the city have had to make cuts and, of course, any cuts in a budget can affect your operational readiness,” he said. “These grants, even as little as $800 for bicycle helmets, enable us to support young children and families that don’t have adequate bike helmets or have helmets at all. Then we work with local suppliers to try and stretch that $800 into $1,000 worth of equipment.”

An $800 grant for bicycle helmets from the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee was one of the four accepted at Monday night’s City Council meeting. The others were as follows:

  • A grant for $68,880.95 from FEMA for the purchase of a fire and carbon monoxide alarm system and sprinkler fire protection system throughout fire headquarters on Evans Street and to fund specialize water rescue training materials and labor costs;
  • A grant for $1,638 from FM Global for the purchase of a high-tech camera, lens, lighting and security case for use at fire scenes as well as an iPad for the command vehicle for rapid uploading and sharing of photos with other investigative agencies;
  • A grant for $3,500 from the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to purchase car seats.

“We get the car seat grant every year, but our firefighters have to recertify regularly to be certified safety seat technicians,” Napolitano said. “This grant is so helpful. You would be amazed how many people that don’t have means to get them.”

While he oversees the grant applications and submissions, Napolitano said that “every grant that we have received is a team effort.”

“In many cases, I delegate to individuals who specialize in the area of a specific grant,” he explained. “We wouldn’t be getting these grants without so many firefighters and officers doing the legwork.”

Napolitano announced that Christopher Shea is the department’s most recent hire, raising the staff’s numbers to 32 firefighters (two short of a full complement) plus the chief and administrative clerk.

Shea currently is classified as a recruit firefighter candidate and, after 14 weeks of training, will be promoted to probationary firefighter for the next 18 months.

The chief praised his firefighters, who belong to IAAF (International Association of Fire Fighters) Local 896, for their civic and community involvement.

“They support numerous organizations not only with their money but with their (volunteer) time as well,” he said.

In other action, Council:

  • Authorized the issuance of $420,000 in serial bonds to purchase a jet-vacuum truck for use in sanitary sewer, water system, storm sewer system and highway maintenance operations. The amount includes the purchase price of the vehicle ($380,000) plus the costs of the issuance as permitted by law.
  • Approved the acceptance of a $9,024 police traffic safety grant from the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. About 20 percent of the funding is earmarked for seat belt enforcement with the remainder to support efforts to reduce speeding, aggressive and distracted driving and other dangerous driving behaviors.
September 12, 2020 - 11:55am
posted by Press Release in City Fire, hydrant flushing, batavia, news.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing fire hydrants in the areas north of Main Street and west of Bank Street on:

  • Thursday, Sept. 17 from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and
  • Friday, Sept. 18 from approximately 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. These tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As in the past, please do not attempt to wash any clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration of your water, run cold water for about five minutes or until clear.

If you have any questions, or should notice a hydrant in need of repair, please contact the fire department at 345-6375.

July 30, 2020 - 4:21pm

Press release:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $3,351,732.05 in federal funding to fire departments across New York State to enhance departments’ response capabilities and to help them more effectively protect the health and safety of the public.

The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).

The City of Batavia is set to get $68,880.95.

“From the peak of the pandemic to normal times, our brave firefighters are always on the front lines, risking their lives to protect their communities,” Senator Schumer said. “These courageous firefighters deserve all the federal support possible to help them do their jobs.

"I’ve fought my whole career to bring more federal resources to support our brave firefighters, and I’m proud to deliver this funding so New York’s fire departments have the resources and equipment to do their jobs and make it through the ensuing economic crisis.”

Senator Gillibrand said “Every day, first responders face dangerous conditions to protect our communities, and we must provide them with the resources needed to stay safe on the job during this health crisis. I am proud to have fought for this critical funding in support of New York’s local fire departments.

"These federal dollars will help offset costs from the COVID-19 emergency and modernize equipment that will protect our firefighters’ health and safety as they do their jobs. I will always fight in the Senate for the resources that our firefighters need to save lives.”

The senators explained that the funding comes as localities face budget shortages and consider staff cuts, including in fire departments. Schumer and Gillibrand said the funding announced today will go directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations, and state fire training academies.

A chart with the AFG breakdown appears below:

Organization Name

City

Funding Amount

Middleburgh, Village of

Middleburgh

$163,000.00

Troy, City of

Troy

$399,457.64

Watervliet, City of

Watervliet

$458,093.29

Greenville Fire District

Scarsdale

$82,599.31

Southwood Volunteer Fire Department Inc.

Jamesville

$40,735.24

New Rochelle, City of

New Rochelle

$159,090.91

Hornell, City of

Hornell

$174,384.76

Coopers Plains-Longacres Volunteer Fire Company Inc.

Coopers Plains

$120,000.00

Poughkeepsie, City of

Poughkeepsie

$33,181.82

Syracuse, City of

Syracuse

$488,195.45

Dundee Village

Dundee

$154,285.71

Fulton, City of

Fulton

$26,505.71

Dewitt Fire District

Syracuse

$64,065.45

East Worcester Hose Co. 1

East Worcester

$24,376.19

Watertown, City of

Watertown

$80,138.18

Lancaster, Village of

Lancaster

$255,171.43

Otter Lake Fire Company Inc.

Forestport

$92,406.67

Oswego, City of

Oswego

$176,206.67

Fulton, City of

Fulton

$86,468.18

Worcester Hose Company Inc.

Worcester

$76,190.48

Tully Joint Fire District

Tully

$89,516.19

Batavia, City of

Batavia

$68,880.95

Auburn, City of

Auburn

$38,781.82

July 3, 2020 - 6:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fireworks, Batavia PD, City Fire, news, video.
Video Sponsor

Press release:

As we approach the  Fourth of July Independence Day Holiday, Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano of the City of Batavia Fire Department would like to remind the residents of the City of what sparkling devices are allowed by law.

“We want to ensure that our residents enjoy the holiday in a safe and responsible manner,” Napolitano said.

According to the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services "Sparking Devices" are considered, “ground-based or handheld devices that produce a shower of colored sparks and or a colored flame, audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke.”

"These sparkling devices can only be bought and sold from June 1st to July 5th and from December 26th to January 1st in any given year," Napolitano said, furthermore, the law states that “Sales of sparkling devices by certified temporary stands or tents can only occur from June 20th to July 5th and December 26th to January 1st in any given year.”

According to the fire chief, allowable sparkling devices under the law are sparkling fountains, sparklers on wooden sticks (not metal sticks), smoking devices, snakes confetti-filled party poppers and paper-wrapped snappers. Non-allowable and illegal devices include firecrackers, bottle rockets, Roman candles and any other aerial devices.

As a result of COVID-19 canceling many public fireworks displays, Chief Napolitano recommends the following alternatives to celebrate the Fourth of July Holiday without fireworks. Furthermore, these alternatives are pet and children friendly.

  • Use glow sticks; they glow in the dark and are a safe alternative to a sparkler.
  • Use noisemakers; they can be found at a local party supply store.
  • Red, white and blue Silly String.
  • Outdoor movie night. Set up a television or screen and projector.
  • Make patriotic crafts with the family.

Lastly, Napolitano says it is important to take the necessary fire safety precautionary steps when using these devices. Last year there were 18,500 fireworks-related injuries reported in the United States.

If any resident has questions regarding what is allowable or would like information regarding safety precautions, they can call the City of Batavia Fire Headquarters at (585) 345-6375.

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