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APRIL, 2016


On February 16, 2016, a second alarm working barn/workshop fire on 464 Old Route 209 drew firefighters from the Hurley, Spring Lake, Cottekill, Ulster Hose, and Stone Ridge Fire Departments to the scene. Hurley firefighters arrived to find fire showing from all sides of the structure.

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Two vehicle MVA in New Paltz On February 19, 2016, the New Paltz Fire Department was called to an MVA involving a pickup truck and a minivan on Main Street. There were no major injuries. The cause of the accident is under investigation.


Overnight fire destroys in Washingtonville Town of Blooming Grove, NY. In the early morning hours of Saturday, February 13th with fifteen degree temperatures outside, multiple fire departments battled a fire that destroyed a garage and multiple vehicles in Washingtonville's Fire District. At approximately 3:12 a.m., South Blooming Grove Fire Department was dispatched to 5 Helms Hill Road for a structure fire with Salisbury Mills as automatic response. Upon arrival, South Blooming Grove confirmed a working structure fire in the attached garage of a two story home and advised that the address was within Washingtonville's Fire District. Washingtonville was alerted and immediately requested the second alarm assignment.

JUMP TO FILE #021316101 The fire was fully involved in the garage as well as two vehicles outside the structure. Three lines were pulled off the first two engines and crews immediately went to work placing water on the fire. At the 30 minute status update, the bulk of the fire was knocked down and the vehicle fire was proving more difficult. Crews quickly set up foam operations for the two vehicles. At the 40 minute status check, command advised that the garage fire was in overhaul operations and firefighters were actively hitting the car fire. The scene was fully under control in 40 minutes. The fire was contained to the

garage and outside vehicles due to the quick actions and diligence of the crews on scene. No extension was found to the home. Departments on scene or standing by included South Blooming Grove, Salisbury Mills, Washingtonville, Woodbury as the FAST, Campbell Hall, Monroe, Maybrook and Chester Fire Departments as well as 36-15, 36-109 and 36-104. The garage was destroyed in the fire along with a corvette, a muscle car and a Toyota pickup. The home received minimal damage. The cause and origin are under investigation by local officials. Despite the frigid temperatures, no injuries were reported by civilians or first responders. - THOMAS GODOY


Appliance fire in Buffalo Buffalo, NY. Firefighters of the 4th Battalion 3rd Platoon were called out to a reported structure fire at 197 Auburn Ave. on the city's West Side on Monday, February 15, 2016. Engine Co. 37 reported smoke in the basement. The fire was confined to a dryer and the assignment was knocked down to two engines and a ladder. Damage was listed at $500 to the appliance and $0 to the structure.

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Witmer Public Safety Group announces the passing of Robert “Bob” Hlavacek It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Robert Hlavacek, who most of you probably know as Bob. Bob passed away on March 10, 2016 after an arduous battle with Muscular Dystrophy. After graduating from West Chester University in 1989 with a B.S. in Marketing, Bob held several roles that showed his absolute passion for marketing—from acting Junior Partner and Partner of Pennsylvania-based marketing firms, to Campaign Coordinator and Business Director of Canine Partners for Life, a non-profit provider of canine service dogs for individuals with disabilities. Bob’s incredible knowledge

JUMP TO FILE #031116132 and drive to succeed was evident in all of his conversations; he truly didn’t miss a beat. For the last ten years, Bob worked for Witmer Public Safety Group (WPSG), serving in both the Marketing Supervisor and Public Relations Specialist roles. Bob was instrumental in the growth of WPSG through his development of the Marketing Department, and the phenomenal relationships he established with our advertising partners and vendors have continued to be exem-


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plary of Bob’s level of dedication to the success of WPSG. “Bob was such an integral part of our company’s growth since he came onboard in 2005,” said WPSG Chief Executive Officer James Witmer. “He brought so much knowledge to the table, was willing to learn new things, and he pushed the boundaries of our marketing capabilities. He challenged our team to do it’s best work and helped make sure that our marketing was “Best in Class”. On top of all those things he was also a faithful friend, a compassionate listener, and a thoughtful provider of advice. We’ve missed having him around the office as his health declined and certainly his passing touches us all.” One of Bob’s biggest passions outside of his career was his ministerial work. Bob worked as a Prayer Minister after attending Elijah House, an international ministry that equips and empowers individual’s hearts to be healed and changed for fulfilled life. In Bob’s words, “that was the beginning of me understanding why

I was made, what God had wanted me for”. He also worked closely with Providence Church in West Chester, PA, where he was made an Honorary Pastor in 2014. “My role is one of encouragement,” Bob said in his 2013 YouTube Video, “A Body Made Whole”. “He’s refined in me my ability to play that role. I’ve embraced that role.” Although Bob’s Muscular Dystrophy confined him to a wheelchair in 2002, he always managed to find joy in his everyday life, and lived his life with the purpose to help others do the same. Services for Bob will be held after the Easter Holiday. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob’s name will be accepted via Providence Church, Canine Partners for Life, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. To watch Bob’s YouTube Video, please visit: - WITMER PUBLIC SAFETY GROUP

Morning fire damages Cornwall home




1st Responder News (ISSN 1525-1683) - New York edition - Vol. 17 No. 4 - is published monthly, 12 times a year for $36 per year by Belsito Communications, Inc., 1 Ardmore Street, New Windsor, NY 12553. Periodicals Postage Paid at Newburgh, NY and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to 1st Responder News, 1 Ardmore Street, New Windsor, NY 12553. No financial responsibility is assumed by this newspaper to publish a display, classified, or legal ad or for typographical errors except of reprinting that part of the ad which was omitted or in error. Omissions or errors must be brought to the attention of the newspaper during the same month of publication.


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Cornwall, NY. On the morning of Monday, February 15th, a fire erupted in a Cornwall home causing significant damage. At approximately 8:20 a.m., Cornwall Fire Department was dispatched to 35 Roe Avenue for a structure fire with smoke showing from the attic.. Cornwall command (Car 1) arrived and immediately confirmed the working fire, requesting mutual aid. Vails Gate arrived as the FAST. Cornwall on Hudson was requested to stand by. One line was stretched and the ladder raised as firefighters began their attack. Command reported that headway was being made in the attic. Central Hudson was re-

JUMP TO FILE #021516112 quested to the scene for a power cut. 36-13 was on the scene and requested an additional coordinator, 36-16. 36-104 and 36-109 also responded. The fire was quickly knocked down and mutual aid units were soon released. The home sustained some fire and significant smoke damage. The cause and origin are under investigation by local officials. - HEATHER PILLSWORTH

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In memory of those who gave all 1st Responder Newspaper honors and remembers emergency responders lost in the line of duty

North Carolina: Joshua Woods, 24 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: January 12, 2016 Death Date: January 12, 2016 Fire Department: Siler City Fire Department Initial Summary: While driving his personal vehicle in response to an emergency call, Firefighter Woods lost control causing the car to crash. Firefighter Woods passed away from the injuries he sustained in the vehicle accident.

Wyoming: Clarence "Speed" Hartbank, 79 Rank: Deputy Chief Incident Date: September 10, 2015 Death Date: January 13, 2016 Fire Department: Fremont County Fire District Initial Summary: On September 10, 2015, Deputy Chief Clarence "Speed" Hartbank fell approximately 15 feet through the ceiling of a bunker while fighting a grass and structure fire in rural Fremont County, near Lander, Wyoming. Hartbank suffered second and third degree burns over 38 percent of his body, seven broken ribs and a punctured lung. Hartbank was flown to Swedish Medical Center in Colorado and went through numerous surgeries in the months since the incident. On January 13, 2016, Hartbank passed away at the Swedish Medical Center from the injuries he sustained.

Ohio: Scott D. Bruggeman, 45 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: March 18, 2014 Death Date: January 18, 2016 Fire Department: Middletown Division of Fire Initial Summary: On March 18, 2014, Firefighter Scott D. Bruggeman suffered a heart attack while restraining an uncooperative patient in the Atrium Medical Center emergency room. Bruggeman was subsequently diagnosed with sarcoidosis and underwent several heart surgeries. After the last surgery which occurred in November 2015, Bruggeman was placed in hospice care. On January 18, 2016, Firefighter Bruggeman passed away from injuries sustained. Arkansas: Ronald Jason Adams, 29 Rank: Lieutenant Incident Date: January 22, 2016 Death Date: January 22, 2016 Fire Department: East Pulaski County Fire Department Initial Summary: Lieutenant Adams was shot and killed by a resident at the scene of an emergency medical response call. Investigation of the fatal incident continues by local and state authorities.

North Carolina: James R. Varnell, 53 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: February 2, 2016 Texas: Richard J. Cano, 35 Death Date: February 2, 2016 Rank: Firefighter Fire Department: Bakertown Volunteer Fire Incident Date: November 22, 2015 Department Death Date: November 29, 2015 Initial Summary: Firefighter Varnell was at the fire Fire Department: Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Dedepartment attending training. As Varnell was partment Initial Summary: Firefighter Richard J. Cano preparing to depart, he became ill and fellow reworked a 24-hour shift from 0600hrs on November, sponders quickly came to his aid with basic life sup21, 2015, to 0600hrs on November 22, 2015. During port measures. As more assistance arrived, advanced that shift, Cano responded to three incidents. Cano life support was provided as Varnell was transported was dispatched with Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Depart- to the hospital where he succumbed to a nature and ment's Engine 1 to the last of these incidents, a three- cause of injury still to be determined. alarm apartment fire, at 0138hrs and cleared the scene at 0345hrs. At the end of his shift at 0600hrs, Connecticut: James J. Butler, Jr. , 50 Cano returned home and went to sleep. At 0845hrs Rank: Chief Driver that same day, Cano's wife observed him in distress Incident Date: February 7, 2016 and subsequently stop breathing. She immediately Death Date: February 7, 2016 called 911. Upon arrival, responders found Cano's Fire Department: Derby Fire Department wife performing CPR. Care was taken over by the Paugassett Hook & Ladder Company #4 ambulance crew and advanced life saving measures Initial Summary: Upon returning to the fire house were performed during transport to the hospital. from responding to a fire alarm activation with his Cano was turned over to a hospital emergency room fire company, Chief Driver Butler complained to felnurse with a pulse. He was in the hospital's intensive low firefighters that he did not feel well. While at care unit for a week, but never regained conscious- his residence several hours later, Butler succumbed ness. Firefighter Cano passed away on November to a nature and cause of illness still to be determined. 29, 2015, at 1930 hrs.

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Devastating fatal blaze in Buffalo Buffalo, NY. Firefighters of the 7th Battalion 4th Platoon were called out to battle a structure fire in a large occupied two and a half story frame dwelling at 90 Humber Ave. in the city's Delavan Grider section early Friday morning, February 19, 2016. Firefighters responded to a report of occupants trapped inside the structure. On that report, an additional engine and ladder were dispatched and later Division Chief Michael Tuberdyke requested the balance of the second alarm assignment. High heat and heavy smoke conditions hampered the search. A victim was located in a second floor

JUMP TO FILE #021916100 bedroom and was brought out. The fire took the structure and firefighters were pulled from the building. Prior to the arrival of fire personnel, the father of the first floor apartment carried his nine year old daughter from the house and went back inside to find the rest of his family. He did not make it back out. A police officer spoke to the man before he reentered the building. Firefighters used multiple one and three quarter and two and a half

inch hand lines along with a tower ladder and ladder tower. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The 9 year old suffered burns over 90 percent of the body and taken to the burn unit of E.C.M.C. A mother and her two children were taken to Woman's and Children's Hospital. Two adult males died in the fire. Firefighters removed several victims from the structure. Damage was listed at $100,000 to the building and $50,000 to the contents. Division Chief Michael Tuberdyke was in command. - DAVID KAZMIERCZAK

NYS volunteer firefighters sound the alarm for new recruits All across New York State, volunteer fire departments will open their firehouse doors to the public on the weekend of April 23-24 as part of the sixth annual RecruitNY statewide volunteer firefighter recruitment campaign. RecruitNY is a major initiative designed to increase membership in volunteer fire departments across the state. Throughout the weekend, fire department volunteers will conduct tours of their facilities, demonstrate firefighting techniques, allow visitors to try on turnout gear, and provide other exciting activities to give visitors a taste of the fire service. Families and children are welcome. Members will discuss the requirements and rewards of being a volunteer firefighter, and speak with interested visitors about the process of joining their local department. As of March 1st, 320 Fire Departments from 58 counties across the state have already committed to participate in RecruitNY Weekend. “The RecruitNY campaign continues to inspire residents across New York to consider volunteering with their local fire companies. In recent years, hundreds of fire departments have participated in RecruitNY and we’re confident that

even more will take part this year,” said Robert McConville, president of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY). “We invite all New Yorkers to visit their local firehouses on April 23rd or 24th, even if it’s just to say ‘hello’ to those neighbors who are currently protecting your community. You might just decide to join them as a neighbor helping neighbors, and become a part of a new and very special family: your local volunteer firefighters." Volunteer firefighters are not only neighbors coming to the aid of their community during emergencies but they are also saving residents over $3 billion each year. FASNY recently released its first comprehensive volunteer firefighters economic impact report in more than a decade. The study, which quantifies the value of volunteer firefighters and tax savings throughout the state, concluded that the annual cost of a replacement all-career service would be $3.87 billion. This deficit would raise property taxes across New York State an estimated average of 26.5%. Through the efforts of RecruitNY, our volunteer firefighters make the state not only safer, but more affordable for millions of New

Yorkers. Established in 2011, RecruitNY is a joint undertaking by the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY), the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs (NYSAFC), Association of Fire Districts of New York State, Volunteer Fire Police Association of the State of New York, and County Fire Coordinators Association of the State of New York. For area residents looking to find if your fire department is participating in RecruitNY, visit or for more information, contact your local fire department via a non-emergency phone number or its website or visit For fire departments that would like to sign up for RecruitNY, simply log on to and fill out the participation form. The program provides fire departments with access to recruitment resources, communication tools, posters, banners, etc. via to help a firehouse hold a recruitment open house. - FASNY


Fiery traffic jam on Menands Bridge

On February 22, 2016, the City of Troy's Fire Department along with Schuyler Heights and Menands Fire Departments responded for multiple calls for a vehicle fire on the Menands Bridge heading into the city of Troy. On arrival, firefighters had a fully involved car fire in the middle of the bridge. Firefighters stretched a hand line across two lanes of traffic while the Troy and Menands Police Departments shut down the bridge so firefighters could work safely. Firefighters were able to knock down the fire quickly. The bridge remained closed during rush hour, causing backups in the area. No one was injured and traffic resumed it's normal pace after the car was removed.

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Fire strikes building under renovation TOM GODOY

Appliance believed to be responsible for fire Washingtonville, NY. On February 23 at approximately 12:15 p.m., Washingtonville along with Salisbury Mills Fire Department were alerted to a possible appliance fire at 5 Winchester Way in the Village of Washingtonville. Within two minutes from dispatch, Chief Skelly was on scene and requested a second alarm for a confirmed fire at the location involving the kitchen and dining

JUMP TO FILE #022316118 rooms. Washingtonville Engine 584 arrived on scene moments after Chief Skelly and crews pulled two lines to attack the fire. Crews from Washingtonville and Salisbury Mills made quick work, extinguished and brought the

fire under control in about 30 minutes. Washingtonville was assisted at the scene or on standby by Salisbury Mills, South Blooming Grove, Vails Gate F.A.S.T, Maybrook, and Blooming Grove Ambulance. The official cause of the fire is still being investigated. - THOMAS GODOY

Buffalo, NY. Firefighters of the 4th Battalion, 4th Platoon were called out early Sunday morning, January 17, 2016 for a report of smoke coming from a building at 451 Elmwood Ave. in Buffalo's Elmwood Village. A passing ambulance radioed in the report. The fire was in Nectar, a former martini bar. The building was under renovation as a new restaurant. Firefighters used a one and three quarter inch hand line and 40 feet of ladders to bring the fire under control. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under inves-

JUMP TO FILE #011916100 tigation. While firefighters were controlling the fire, F-20's rig for the EMS officer had its rear arrow stick catch fire and melted off the vehicle with no additional damage to the rig. Damage was listed at $10,000 to the building and $10,000 to the contents. Division Chief Patrick Brittzalaro was in command. - DAVID KAZMIERCZAK

Heavy fire showing in Schuyler Heights Fire District The Schuyler Heights Fire Department with Latham, Shaker Road, and Menands Fire Departments were dispatched for a reported structure fire at 282 Watervliet Shaker Road on Feb. 15. The caller stated he could see flames coming from the back of the home. The first arriving fire chief on scene declared a Signal 30 and stated he had heavy fire and smoke showing from the back of the house. The first arriving Engine 442 crew pulled multiple hand lines to the front of the structure and tried to hit the hydrant, but it was frozen and they were forced to hit another hydrant. Multiple other units arrived on scene including multiple truck companies. Due to powerline constrictions, the truck companies were not able to go into aerial operations. The chief of Schuyler Heights made entry into the structure to search for victims and had his assistant chief take command. While inside, crews encountered heavy fire on the first and second floors and had a floor collapse in the kitchen area. Heavy fire was found in the basement, which made crews pull out of the struc-

JUMP TO FILE #022216125 ture and take up a defensive position. Command called for the second alarm bringing additional resources to the scene from the Colonie Village Fire Company for a FAST team. Verdoy, Boght, Maplewood and West Albany Fire Departments were brought to the scene to assist battling the blaze. Fire crews pulled multiple two and a half inch hand lines to the rear of the home, where they had the heaviest fire. Due to the heavy water flow and the extremely cold temperatures, as soon as the water hit the ground, it turned to ice creating a dangerous situation for firefighters on scene. Firefighters were able to knock down the heavy fire on the outside of the structure, but had fire through the roof of the home and had heavy fire in the attic area. Firefighters held up on the master stream operations while a crew made entry on the second floor making a aggressive interior attack and hitting the fire hard, which knocked down the bulk of the remaining fire in the attic. Shortly after, firefighters had

the all of the heavy fire knocked down and crews made entry into the structure, hitting hotspots. No firefighters were injured on

scene and the home was not occupied at the time by the residents. The home was a total loss. Town of Colonie Fire services are


currently investigating the cause of the fire. - JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

April, 2016



Junk yard fire in Buffalo JOHN BECHTOLD

Barn/workshop destroyed On February 16, 2016, a second alarm working barn/workshop fire on 464 Old Route 209 drew firefighters from the Hurley, Spring Lake, Cottekill, Ulster Hose, and Stone Ridge Fire Departments to the scene. Hurley firefighters arrived to find fire showing from all sides of the structure. The workshop, which makes reproductions of early american lighting fixtures, was destroyed.

While companies were operating at the fire on 1073 Grant St. in Buffalo, firefighters of the 3rd Battalion 3rd Platoon were dispatched to a reported fire in a junk yard at Clinton and Metcalfe. Two engines, a ladder and a chief were dispatched. Engine Co. 35, which would have been first in, was shifted to Engine Co. 19 to cover their house while they were on Grant St. Third Battalion Chief Mark Hillery reported heavy fire in the recycling yard of the Max Brock Co. and that the fire was close to a metal butler building. The balance of a full box was re-

JUMP TO FILE #022616101 quested. The fire did communicate into the structure and an additional two engines and a truck were requested. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but appears suspicious. One firefighter was transported to E.C.M.C. hospital with injuries. Damage was listed at $15,000. Division Chief Patrick Brittzalaro was in command. - DAVID KAZMIERCZAK


April, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY



Structure fire destroys Vails Gate vacant Vails Gate, NY. In the late evening hours of February 10th, Vails Gate Fire Department was alerted to a working fire at 100 Silver Stream Road with a cross street of Route 207. First Assistant Chief Billy Powles was first on scene and reported a fire in a vacant under construction two story wood frame dwelling. Washingtonville was requested

JUMP TO FILE #021916100 as a FAST team and then 484 was first on scene followed by 478 and 479. Two lines were stretched and the fire was brought under control quickly with an exterior attack. Firefighters continued to hit hot spots for several hours and conducted exten-

sive overhaul operations. On scene units included Vails Gate, New Windsor on automatic response, Washingtonville as the FAST, and New Windsor EMS. Fire investigators were on scene to determine the cause and origin. No injuries were reported by civilians or first responders. - KEN RYPKEMA

Flames rushing from attic in Buffalo

Buffalo, NY. Firefighters of the 4th Battalion 1st Platoon were called out to battle a structure fire at 181 1/2 Normal Ave. on the city's West Side early on Friday morning, February 12, 2016. Firefighters arrived to an attic fire in the rear two and a half story frame cottage. Firefighters used a few one and three quarter inch hand lines and 50 feet of ladders to bring the fire under control. Two adults and a child escaped the flames. The Red Cross was called to assist them. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation. Damage was listed at $45,000 to the building and $15,000 to the contents. Division Chief Peter Kertzie was in command.

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The prize for our May editions from KIMTEK is a Viper Wildland Nozzle. Our February editions winner of One Hundred Years of Valor by Paul Hashagen from All Hands Fire Equipment was Russell Curley of NY. If your company would like to provide a prize and sponsor our monthly contest, contact Heather at 845-534-7500. Viper Wildland Nozzle 1” Swivel Product #ST1530-PV • Wildland and utility nozzles all have fog, straight stream and tun-past-straight-stream-shutoff • Have a protective rubber bumper • Can be used as a “break-apart” • Constant flow 30 gpm “break-apart nozzle with pistol grip and tip twist shutoff

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Two car accident in Town of Newburgh Winona Lake Engine Company was dispatched on Saturday, Feb. 13th for a two car accident with unknown injuries at Route 17K and Orr Ave. Also at the scene were Town Of Newburgh Police, Town Of Newburgh Emergency Medical Services, and New York State Police. There were no injuries.

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

April, 2016




Vails Gate battles fire on second floor Vails Gate, NY. At a little after 11:30 a.m. on Monday, February 29th, the Vails Gate Fire Department was dispatched to 117 Riley Road for a working fire. 2nd Assistant Chief Dan Sylvester arrived, established command, and confirmed heavy fire on the second floor of a two story private dwelling, requesting Washingtonville as the FAST and eventually

JUMP TO FILE #030116102 the full second alarm. One line was quickly placed in operation. The quick actions of firefighters had the main body of fire knocked within 15 minutes of dispatch. Crews checked for further ex-

tension and conducted overhaul operations. Most mutual aid departments were back in service within an hour. Departments on scene or on standby included Vails Gate, Washingtonville, Salisbury Mills, New Windsor, Cornwall, Cornwall on Hudson. - HEATHER PILLSWORTH

Clarence Fire Company remembers Paul McCarthy, Sr. Clarence, NY. Paul McCarthy Sr. was laid to rest on Friday February 5, 2016. Paul was a 40 year member of the Clarence Fire Company and had served as Commissioner as well as the town Supervisor. Our condolences to his family and the Brothers and Sisters of the Clarence Fire Co. His gear was displayed along with a flag salute in front of the fire hall.


April, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


Car into tree with flyout

Town of Newburgh, NY. In the early morning hours of Monday, February 22nd, firefighters from the Middlehope Fire Department were dispatched to 3 Holmes Road at Lattintown Road for a report of a car into a tree. Command arrived to find a car into a tree with serious injuries, placing a medevac on standby. Two patients were removed from the vehicle. One was flown to a local trauma center for treatment. The second was transported via ambulance. On scene units included the Middlehope Fire Department, Mobile Life Support Services and Town of Newburgh Police. The extent of injuries is unknown at this time.


Blaze spreads to second floor

Buffalo, NY. Firefighters of the 3rd Battalion 4th Platoon were called out to battle a structure fire at 65 Rieman St. in the city's Iron Island section on Sunday, February 7, 2016. Engine Co. 28 arrived to smoke coming from a two story occupied frame dwelling. The fire was caused by a plumber’s torch. It started in the first floor wall and communicated to the second floor. Damage was listed at $20,000 to the building and $5,000 to the contents. Division Chief Michael Tuberdyke was in command.

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

April, 2016



Heater causes fire

Buffalo, N.Y. Firefighters of the 7th Battalion 3rd Platoon were called out to battle a fire in an apartment building at 1073 Grant St. in Buffalo's Black Rock section early Thursday morning, February 25, 2016. The building was a three story brick apartment building with 20 apartments. The fire was started by an electric heater placed to close to the bed. Firefighters used two 1 3/4" hand lines to bring the fire under control. No injuries were reported. Damage was listed at $15,000 to the building and $5,000 to the contents. Extra companies were called out. The building was the scene of a second alarm fire on January 25, 2014 when many occupants were forced out of their apartments in sub zero temperatures. Division Chief Patrick Brittzalaro was in command of both blazes.


Overturned vehicle in Town of Newburgh

Town of Newburgh, NY. On the evening of February 20, the Good-Will Fire Department was dispatched to an overturn vehicle on Route 32 in front of 37 N. Plank Road, the Medical Arts Pharmacy. Town of Newburgh Emergency Medical Services and Mobile Life Support Services assisted with patient care at the scene. The extent of injuries is unknown at this time.


April, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


No injuries in Town of Newburgh A two car auto accident was reported on Meadow Ave just east of State Route 300 on Feb. 23. Winona Lake Fire Department’s tones were sounded. Town of Newburgh EMS and Police also responded. Winona Lake Car 1 arrived on scene. Town of Newburgh EMS was evaluating one person. Winona Lake car 1 advised that all equipment should remain in quarters. No injuries were reported.


Brush fire spreads to multiple vehicles Washingtonville, NY. A brush fire spread to multiple vehicles at Woodcock Auto Body. On the afternoon of February 14th, Washingtonville firefighters were dispatched to 59 Woodcock Mountain Road for a large brush fire. Washingtonville command requested mutual aid with two brush units and a tanker. Companies immediately went to work with several lines to keep the fire from spreading on the very cold and windy day. The

JUMP TO FILE #021616116 blaze involved several vehicles, but crews were able to keep it from the auto body shop building. The shifting winds created issues for the firefighters, which required quick work to control the flames. In just over an hour, the fire was declared under control. Mutual aid assisting Washing-

tonville units were Salisbury Mills with two brush trucks and a tanker, Cornwall with a brush truck and South Blooming Grove with a brush truck. 36-13 and 36-16 were also on scene. The cause of the fire is under investigation. While on scene, Washingtonville was dispatched for their FAST team for a mutual aid structure fire in Campbell Hall. - HEATHER PILLSWORTH

Suspicious fire in downtown Troy On the morning of February 8, 2016, the city of Troy's Fire Department responded to an alarm of fire at the intersection of Broadway and the William Street alley for a reported unknown type fire. On arrival, crews had a working fire that extended into a structure from a pile of garbage that was lit on fire. While firefighters quickly knocked down the fire, another fire was discovered further down the street in another pile of trash. Troy's fire chief directed engine 2 to investigate that fire. Engine 2 had a small fire, but the crew was able to extinguish it with a water can and prevent it from spreading. The Troy Police Department searched the area for the person responsible for lighting the fires, but were unable to come up with

Troy firefighters overhaul the damaged store


JUMP TO FILE #021216142 anyone. The police department is currently reviewing video of the area for any clues leading to the person that ignited the fires. Troy's fire chief declared the Signal 30 as a precautionary measure as the building had extension into it. Crews remained on scene for a short time. The fire is currently under investigation at this time. The building sustained fire and smoke damage. No one was injured or inside the structure at the time of the fire.


1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

April, 2016



April, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


MVA and wires on vehicle The New Paltz Fire Department was busy on February 25th with two calls. The first was for an MVA on South Ohioville Rd., where the car was well off the road. The driver only had minor injuries. The second call was for wires on a vehicle on Plattekill Ave. Central Hudson was called, and there were no injuries.


Major oil spill in Yonkers On Saturday, February 16, 2015 at approximately 8:25 a.m., Engine 313 from the Yonkers Fire Department responded to the area of 125 Bronx River Road for fluids in the roadway. 313 arrived on scene to find a 6500 gallon tanker truck leaking oil, Squad 11 and Battalion were requested to the scene. The leak was so massive, it got into the sewer system and possibly leaked into the Bronx River. A full assignment from the Yonkers Fire Department (four engines, two trucks, and Rescue 1) responded along with Engine 63, Ladder 39 and Battalion 15 from the FDNY due to the incident being so close to the city line. The river was checked and found negative, it is believed about approximately 2100 gallons had spilled.

East Greenbush firefighter cutting a vent hole


Second alarm fire hits on frigid night in Schodack The East Greenbush Fire Department responded to 1611 Columbia Turnpike in the Town of Schodack for a reported structure fire with the caller stating that the back porch was on fire on JUMP TO FILE# Feb 15. 022216126 The first arriving unit called for the Signal 30 and the second alarm, bringing Best Luther, Clinton Heights, Schodack Valley and the Castleton Fire Departments to the scene. Crews pulled two hand lines to the structure and quickly knocked down the fire on the outside of the home. Firefighters went right to the roof to start to vent and check for extension. Firefighters were able to stop the fire before it spread to the main house. With temperatures in the single digits, it made it tough for firefighters to stay warm. Crews opened up the walls in the fire area, but due to quick actions of the first arriving engine the home sustained minimum damage. The fire is currently under investigation. The majority of the damage was sustained around the vent for the wood stove. The Defreestville and Castleton Fire Departments covered the town of East Greenbush. No injuries were reported on scene. Crews had the fire under control within 30 minutes. - JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER


East Greenbush firefighters hitting hot spots in the roof

April, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


Specialty has been in the ambulance business for over 50 years. Up until 2015 Specialty had represented PL Custom for over 25 of those years. In 2015 we made a corporate decision to represent only AEV (American Emergency Vehicles). This past December we hired Tom McCullough on a full time basis to handle emergency vehicle sales for Specialty in the Capital district area. In addition to Tom we have Bill Litteer in Livonia and our main office in East Farmingdale with Bob O’Neill, John Purcell and Scott O’Neill.

Specialty Vehicles • Specialty is the Oldest Ambulance Dealership in the United States, founded in 1929 • We sold over 120 AEV ambulances in 2015 • Specialty’s ambulance sales people have over 100 years of combined experience

Call for information on our Metropolitan remount program.

• Specialty Ambulance is third generation family owned company • Specialty Ambulance doubled in size in 2012 when we moved to a new facility in East Farmingdale • Specialty’s service department, specializes in ambulance repairs, including electrical, O2 and body • Specialty has 25 years of experience servicing PL Custom Ambulances

AEV • AEV is the largest ambulance manufacturer in the United States • AEV runs the most “State of the Art” Ambulance manufacturing facility in the US, and one of the only plants certified to ISO 9001 Standards • AEV Quality is the finest in the industry • AEV is at the forefront on ambulance safety six point seat belts, side impact rails to name a few • AEV does “Metal to Metal” Crash testing, Sled Testing, Rollover

East Moriches Ambulance New AEV E450 Type III

Testing and Static Load Testing • AEV provides us with excellent lead times • AEV provides us with outstanding value

Eastern NY State Tom McCullough 518-819-9936

Central NY State Bill Litteer 585-330-5885

Southern NYS, NYC & LI John Purcell 516-297-2224

Main Office - NYC & LI Bob ONeill 516-721-11347


April, 2016

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MacBoston FD Hockey Club hosts FDNY’s SQ-288/HM-1 hockey team in a benefit game for MacBoston 18 Truck Firefighter Memorial Glens Falls, NY. MacBoston FD Hockey is hosting a benefit game for MacBoston 18 Truck. The MacBoston 18 Truck Firefighter Memorial will setup and raise the American Flag proudly to greet hockey fans in front of the Glens Falls Civic Center on April 2, 2016. They will be on display for all to see as they enter the Civic Center to watch the MacBoston FD Hockey Club take on FDNY’s Squad-288/HazMat-1 Hockey Team, all to benefit MacBoston 18 Truck. MacBoston 18 Truck is a not for profit organization that depends on dues and donations to support their mission. Their mission is to keep alive the memory of NYS firefighters who died in the Line Of Duty with

JUMP TO FILE #022516136 their rolling memorial and by promoting firefighter safety through education. The Adirondack Thunder, of the ECHL, will graciously open the doors of the Civic Center for the game and assist in organizing the event. The Adirondack Thunder game, following the MacBoston game, will be dedicated as Firefighter Appreciation Night. To purchase tickets, please contact Adam Myers @ 518-2604449 or purchase tickets at the Hair Divas event on March 13th. - MacBoston FD Hockey Club

Out of Reach, the day Hartford Hospital burned ON THE BOOK SHELF

by John Malecky

Out of Reach The Day Hartford Hospital Burned By F. Mark Granato Available from: Barnes & Noble ( Price: $17.99 (hard copy) This is a soft cover book measuring six inches by nine inches and has 296 pages. It is also available as an e-book. There are 32 chapters plus an epilogue. Most of the chapters are a few pages with only a few others that are a little lengthy. It is a novel about the Hartford Hospital in which a major fire occurred in December of 1961. Leo LePages’ book on his career as a Hartford police officer touched briefly on this fire in a single chapter. This author is a writer and journalist, not associated with the fire service or any emergency service for that matter. His extensive research which included interviews with many who were there and recollections of family members of those who are no longer with us, brings us a riveting story that promises to keep you at the edge of your seat! Though some of the contents are

a work of fiction, the stories do parallel actual events particularly with strategy and tactics with heroics from both emergency personnel, hospital personnel and just plain visitors and others that happened to be in the hospital that day. The author’s determination was relentless in detailing the tragedy, which took many lives. He includes from his own imagination how some of the things may have happened. You will read of some heroic tactics that may not be believable, but I can tell you that they did take place and that they only prove once more how firefighters will go to the utmost extent to save lives. As you read, you may put yourself at the scene and imagine how difficult it was to survive through this operation. For one thing, it took place at a time when SCBAs were scarce and individual fire companies did not have sufficient gear for each member. Thus many had to “eat smoke,” if you will, while undergoing bonetiring ordeals to make rescues and bring the fire under control. The fire was overshadowed by an earlier working fire in an apartment house that same morning, which drew men and apparatus away and kept them away for a reasonable amount of time. Other side stories capture human interest that the reader will find interesting. This is definitely a read to be considered whether you are in the emergency service or simply an avid reader!


Overnight one room fire for Good-Will Town of Newburgh, NY. Just after 2:30 a.m. in the early morning hours of January 23rd, GoodWill firefighters were dispatched to 2 Boulder Street for reports of a structure fire. Crews arrived to find a one room fire in a one story single family vacant home with extension to the roof. The home did not

JUMP TO FILE #022316101 have electricity at the time of the fire. Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire and conducted overhaul operations. Crews were back in service by 5:30 a. m. No in-

juries were reported by firefighters or civilians. Winona Lake Engine Company stood by during the incident. The cause and origin of the fire are under investigation by local officials. - HEATHER PILLSWORTH


Injured hiker rescued in Storm King State Park On February 27th at 12:51 p.m., the Cornwall on Hudson Fire Department was dispatched to a reported injured hiker in Storm King State Park off Mountain Road in the Village. The subject was reported to have fallen 20-25 feet with head injuries. Upon the belief that additional resources would be needed, Cornwall on Hudson command requested that Cornwall Fire Department be dispatched to assist with their Argo ATV and Technical Rescue Team. A medevac was requested to be launched with a landing zone es-

JUMP TO FILE #022916113 tablished by COHFD E-411 at the Storm King School. A joint rescue operation commenced with Cornwall on Hudson Car 2 manning the command post and Cornwall Car 1 as operations chief. The injured subject was located approximately one to one and a half miles from the entrance to the park on Mountain Road. The subject was treated at the scene by EMTs and an Emstar paramedic. The patient was transported off the

mountain via Cornwall Fire Department's Argo and subsequently flown to Westchester Medical Center for further treatment of injuries. Units returned to service at 3:23 p.m. First responders operating on scene were Cornwall on Hudson Fire Department, Cornwall Fire Department, Orange County 36-13, Cornwall EMS, Emstar EMS, Cornwall on Hudson Police, New York State Park Police, and New York State Parks forest rangers. Vails Gate stoodby with one engine. - CORNWALL ON HUDSON FD

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

Are you a friend or are you a Brother? Chaplain's Corner Didymus McHugh

We call each other “Brother” but that is not a title to be awarded easily. Usually a rookie is not called brother. That title is reserved for someone that has gone through battle with our common enemy and we can rely on that person. We may have friends in the department, but may have less that we actually call “Brother”. Proverbs 17:17 states “A friend loves at all times and a brother is born out of adversity” and our brotherhood has been molded and shaped out of adversities that we have gone through together. We see so much of the public’s challenges and we may put our lives in risk. The peoplewho are there with us are our Brothers. When we say to a brother “I got your back.” that says that we are with them through all their challenges and danger. When a Brother calls and he says that he needs our help, our response to help him should be immediate and not even a second of delay. We are to look out for our Brother, offer him help, if we think he may need it. This may be a car repair, painting a house or if we see that he has something that is weighing heavy on hismind and may need to talk. Are you a friend, who may only be in it for your benefit or are you a Brother who comes when there is an emergency, even if it is inconvenient for you. I personally know that I have at least one Brother who is always there, even if I do not ask him to be there for me. He has saved me plenty of times and even pulled me out of a fire. You may be there to answer your calls for help from the public, but are you there to answer your Brothers’ call for help in his time of adversity? Stay safe.

April, 2016



April, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

Our Daily Risks STAYING SAFE

Chief Henry Campbell

During the past few weeks within the greater metro area of New York, there have been two incidents involving cranes that have claimed the lives of three civilians, who were going about their daily routine. The first was a crane collapse in Lower Manhattan on February 5 in which an individual on his way to work was struck by the toppling crane and killed. In Hanover, New Jersey on February 18, a crane was being operated to lower a five ton generator into position at the site of a newly constructed firehouse when a strap(s) gave way dropping the generator. Two workers below, who were guiding the crane operator in positioning the generator, were killed. It was reported the crane operator was the father-in-law of one of the men killed. How many other people may have been killed in freak accidents over the same period? Can one prepare for either of these incidents? For the most part, you can’t, but further investigation by police, the Labor Department, and other investigating authorities may find a cause. It won’t change the results for the deceased. A variety of incidents that can exceed our imagination occur with frequency across our country each and every day that is impossible to plan for and resulting in injury and death. Fate, destiny, or being in the right place at the wrong time, or, as some say, in the wrong place at the right time. There have been and will continue to be firefighter fatalities within the ranks of the fire service where fate plays a similar unpreventable role. It is the preventable deaths within the fire service that we are trying to eliminate. From the day a new firefighter enters the ranks, it is drilled into their heads that whenever we are faced with a life challenging decision, we are to weigh the risk versus the potential gain. If the risk exceeds the gain, we should not place one’s life in jeopardy. Yet, there are times when a firefighter will take that great risk and be successful in accomplishing their objective.

There also will be times when one will fail and it will cost them their life. How far can one push the risk envelope in attempting to save a life? A very difficult question to answer, as evaluating the risks involved can be very complicated because we all don’t perceive the same issues (risks) that may be involved. In our daily duties, we should operate under the umbrella of safety in order to reduce the toll of injuries or deaths. You should check and maintain your equipment on a daily basis, train and encourage additional training for yourself and your fire company and use a seat belt each time you are riding in the apparatus. If you are responsible for driving the apparatus, check it daily, you are responsible for all on board. If you are the officer, it is your responsibility to oversee that the assigned daily routine work and training is being done. It all has to do with the safety of the firefighters. It is easy to overlook much of the daily equipment checks and seemingly mundane tasks, but when an SCBA malfunctions, a power tool fails to operate, or the apparatus brakes fail at a critical moment; it could lead to injury or death. How often do we take shortcuts and or deviate from how we have been trained? Each time we do, we are taking a risk, and for the most part we don’t even see it as a risk. It may have become routine and replaced, in our mind, the original safe method. Heart attacks are the leading cause of firefighter deaths annually, averaging over 50% of LODD’s. Firefighters should maintain a healthy lifestyle staying in good physical and medical condition. Exercise and maintain your weight to stay in good physical condition. Hopefully you never smoked, or have had the courage to give up smoking. If there is one great contributor to many health issues, it is, without a doubt, cigarette smoking The basics must not be forgotten or overlooked when it comes to firefighter safety. You are responsible for your personal safety along with your fellow firefighters and officers. You owe it to them and your family to return from each call in good health. Till next time, Stay Safe and God Bless!


Plattekill Fire Department hosts annual Installation Dinner The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel once again hosted this year's Plattekill Fire Department Annual Installation Dinner in which nearly 200 members and guests attended. Plattekill operates two fire stations in Southern Ulster County, which include a full complement of EMS staff as well. With over 125 members, they possess a strong desire to continue the tradition of providing efficient fire and EMS services to those who reside or visit within the boundaries of the Plattekill Fire District. The evening of February 27th began with a formal cocktail hour and then moved into the reception area, where introductions, presentations, and dinner followed. Several of the guests repre-

JUMP TO FILE #022816100 sented various fire, police, and EMS agencies throughout Ulster and Orange Counties. Additionally, many local representatives from the political arena also attended and were introduced. Company President James Hoppenstedt Sr led off with a warm welcome as guests took to their tables. Father Kevin Malick, a priest from Our Lady of Fatima Church in Plattekill, also a member, gave a warm, humorous benediction. Soonafter, the newly elected officers were officially sworn in. Plattekill's Chief Officers Andrew Hertel, Ralph Davis, and John

Papo began the formalities of award presentations. Members were given recognition for Top Responders, Firefighter and EMS of the Year, and for honorary acts displayed throughout the year. Later, the group dances brought most up to their feet. It was not long before a surprise, sudden proposal for marriage was made between a loving couple as the man of the hour dropped to one knee and asked the inevitable question in from of all those around. The Bride-to-be of course said yes as tears of joy flowed. This was the 2nd year straight that such proposal has been made on the dance floor. - PAUL HARRINGTON


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Two ladders from the City of Newburgh, one from the City of Beacon and one from West Point were extended to the roof of an apartment building on Lake Drive in the City of Newburgh on March 3 for a three alarm fire. BOB ROOT

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

April, 2016


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Electrical in Town of Newburgh Town of Newburgh, NY. On March 2 at approximately 2 p.m., the Winona Lake Engine Company was dispatched for a possible electrical fire at 9 Howard Drive. According to reports, the homeowner turned on a light switch in a bathroom and saw a spark. Orange Lake also responded.

Lockport, N.Y. Chief's Buggy.



April, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

Vehicle News


Suffern 19-EQ has been assigned a 2015 Spartan-ERV heavy rescue with eight-man cab, light tower, 9000-lb portable winch, and many other features.


Joint ice rescue drill on Beaver Dam Lake


The North Tonawanda Fire Department announced acceptance of a 2015 Sutphen 1500 gpm pumper

On Sunday, February 21 the Monroe and Salisbury Mills Fire Department’s held a joint ice rescue drill on Beaver Dam Lake. The temperature was hovering near 50 degrees with the ice so thin it was giving away as the rescues advanced on the lake. The drill included self rescue, rescue of injured victim and dive team evolutions. Both departments worked together to improve on ice rescue skills and operations and look forward to continue training together.



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Priced Comparable to Epoxy Goes Right Over Your Old Floor


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April, 2016



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Trailer fire in the boro The West Albany Fire Department along with Fuller Road, Shaker Road, and Colonie Village Fire Company with the City of Albany were dispatched for a reported structure fire at 12 Sand Creek Rd. JUMP TO FILE # On arrival, 030616101 West Albany command stated they had a fully involved trailer fire and were going to keep West Albany only, returning all mutual aid companies to service. Firefighters from the West Albany Fire Department pulled apart the trailer, doing extensive overhaul on it after knocking down the fire. Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby brush and the other trailers near the burned trailer. Firefighters quickly extinguished the trailer fire and turned the scene over to the Town of Colonie Fire Services to investigate the cause of the fire. - JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER

S.W. Johnson Eng. Co. #2, Wappingers Falls, N.Y., in service until 1995 KEVIN DELEHANTY


April, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

Home destroyed from gas explosion.


Home destroyed by explosion On Tuesday morning, February 2nd, a call came in 8:15 a.m. for a car into a garage, hitting a gas meter. The owner was parking his car in the garage when his foot slipped off the brake and onto the accelerator, hitting the gas meter’s main pipe that led into the home. He then ran into the house, got his wife ou, went to the neighbors and called the fire department. On arrival, the Henrietta Fire District’s Pumper 464 and the Monroe County Sheriff found the occupants waiting outside. The crews from 464 found that the main gas line going into the house was severed. Lt. Hayes called for a full structure assignment, non emergency. Shortly thereafter, there was an ex-

JUMP TO FILE #021016108 plosion heard and one person described it as, “the roof when up and it came down and the walls fell in with a boom.” Lt. Tom Hayes called for a full assignment for a working structure fire and additional crews from Henrietta Stations 1 and 2 (volunteer stations), Stations 4 and 5 (career stations), Monroe County Fire Bureau fire investigators, and Henrietta Ambulance as well as Rochester Gas & Electric to shut off the gas and electric to the home. The explosion as well as the fire were confined to just the one struc-


ture. The crews extinguished the fire around 9:45 a.m. and watched for hot spots. The home was totally destroyed as well as a lifetime of memories and contents. The remainder of the home was demolished. The residents were unharmed, but it was reported that they went to the hospital to be checked out. On scene were Henrietta Fire Department Chief James Comstock as incident command, Henrietta Assistant Deputy Chief Mark Strzyzynski as operations, and Battalion Chief Tim Ochs as the safety officer. - CAROL GREENE


Buffalo fire battles blaze An early evening blaze on the city's south side caused extensive damage despite being quickly knocked down by Buffalo firefighters. Crews responded to 20 Pries Avenue on March 5, 2016 and found a two story wood frame with fire showing from the D side of the building. Firefighters used several one and three quarter inch hand lines

JUMP TO FILE #030516103 and 45 feet of ladders at the blaze. The fire also damaged the next door home at 22 Pries. The cause is under investigation by the fire marshals. - KEVIN BRAUTLACHT

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April, 2016


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Child injured in Livonia DWI crash


Buffalo Rescue Co.1 4th Platoon Captain Mark Egloff and Firefighter Mark D. Van Horn at a fire at 109 Keystone Street.

Livonia, NY. On Sunday, March 6, at about 5:40 p.m., Town of Livonia fire departments and EMS, along with the Livingston County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the area of Pennemite and Cleary Roads for reports of a car that struck a house. Responding units found a pickup truck had gone off the road, through a ditch, rolled over, hit a tree and come to rest in the front

JUMP TO FILE #030716129 lawn of a home on Pennemite Rd. Despite the initial report, the vehicle did not strike the home. The driver was able to free himself from the wreckage, however his 11-year-old son needed to be extricated by firefighters. They were both transported to Strong Memo-

rial Hospital in Rochester with minor injuries and released. Also assisting at the scene were Lakeville F.D. and Livingston County EMS. The operator of the vehicle was charged with aggravated felony driving while intoxicated under Leandra’s Law and numerous vehicle and traffic violations. - JEFFREY GOLDBERG


April, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

The blaze eventually needed a total of five ladders in operation.


Three alarm blaze strikes Newburgh apartments On the afternoon of Thursday, March 3rd, City of Newburgh firefighters were alerted to a fire at 196 Lake Drive, which eventually went to three alarm displacing almost two-dozen residents of an apartment complex. At approximately 4:45 p.m., firefighters arrived at the multi-unit building to find JUMP TO FILE # heavy fire show- #030416110 ing. Smoke was reported from several miles away. F i r e fi g h t e r s quickly placed multiple lines in service and requested mutual aid to the scene and on standby. Castle Point and Vails Gate were assigned as the FAST teams during the incident. Newburgh’s ladder was extended, ground ladders were placed against the building, and firefighters began opening up the roof. The fire was quickly spreading through the apartments. By 5:30 p.m., command reported one truck and five lines in operation. The blaze eventually needed five ladders in total operating at the scene. They included Newburgh Ladder 1, Newburgh Ladder 2, West Point, Beacon, and Winona Lake. Crews were able to get a knock on the fire in decent time, saving further extension in the complex. On scene assisting the City of Newburgh were Castle Point, Vails Gate, City of Beacon, Winona Lake, Mobile Life Support Services, City of Newburgh police and County Fire Coordinator 36-13. Orange Lake and Coldenham stood by at the City of Newburgh Public Safety building. - HEATHER PILLSWORTH


Firefighters pulling apart the side of the building after fire damaged it

Marina fire battled on the Mohawk River

A firefighter ladders the building


The Boght Fire Department along with Latham, Shaker Road, and the Verdoy Fire Departments responded for a reported structure fire. The caller stated that there was fire coming from the roof of the building at the Blain's Bay Marina. The first arriving chief had heavy smoke in the area. On arrival, he declared the Signal 30 with fire through the roof of the building. Firefighters from Latham and Boght pulled multiple hand lines into the building and Shaker Roads firefighters started to lad-

JUMP TO FILE #022216123 der the building and began roof operations. The quick action of the firefighters was able to save the business. The building sustained moderate damage to it. The Town of Colonie Fire Services is currently investigating the cause of the fire. No firefighters were injured during the fire. - JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER

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1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


Rockland County is located in southeastern New York State on the border with New Jersey and is a suburb to New York City. With a population of approximately 325,000, the county is a mix of dense urban, suburban and rural areas. What makes our county somewhat unique is that our residents and businesses are protected by an all-volunteer fire service. As a county, we have been able to buck the overall loss of volunteer firefighters as seen in much of the rest of the country and New York State. Much of this can be attributed to the efforts of a group of volunteer firefighters, who have developed innovative ideas through our recruitment and retention program. Chairman Frank Hutton leads a group of volunteer firefighters and local business leaders, who have been able to obtain a federal grant that provided funding for a variety of marketing tools that added to the recruitment success over a period of many years. That grant ran out a few years ago and we noticed a decline in new firefighters joining on a county-wide basis. The committee is addressing this and bringing in new members with new ideas to reverse the trend, before it becomes critical. In one of the discussions regarding new ideas, a firefighter made a statement that got my attention. As part of our federal grant, we were providing scholarships to students, who attended the local community college, as long as they stayed active with their departments. He stated to me that while the scholarship program is great, many of those students go away for their junior and senior years and never come back, even though many join departments elsewhere. His suggestion was that we reach out to our local BOCES as another source of potential young firefighters. He noted that a higher percentage of BOCES students stay in our county as they start supporting themselves through their trade, local unions, etc. A week or so after this conversation, my wife called me in the middle of the workday indi-

cating that our hot water heater was leaking. I rushed home to turn off the water and gas to the unit and was lucky enough to contact a young firefighter, who recently started his own business as a plumbing contractor. This volunteer firefighter/plumbing contractor is in his late 20's and started out as a member of our explorer program, a junior firefighter and is now captain of his fire company. He showed up at my house that same day and had the hot water heater replaced before dinner. I noted that his assistant had a pager on his belt and that he was a volunteer firefighter in the same company. I then asked the captain how his organization is doing as far as new members go. He indicated they had taken in approximately 20 members in the last two to three years. I asked him why they have been so successful, and he replied that they make it fun, do a great deal of training and other activities. He also indicated that they encourage younger members, treat them well, and they bring in their friends, who bring in their friends, etc., etc. This stands in contrast to other companies and departments that are losing more members than they are gaining, or taking in no recruits. I am going to ask this young member to share his methods with the Recruitment & Retention Committee and other departments. Pete Byrne, our Chief of Training has reached out to the BOCES administration and is pleased to report that we will be offering Fire Fighter 1 training classes through the BOCES curriculum during school hours for which they will receive high school and college credits, all with minimal time away from their busy schedules. This program seems like a grand slam to me. Hopefully in the years to come, we will see an influx of more plumbers, carpenters, electricians, HVAC technicians, mechanics, etc., many of whom may be able to leave the jobs to respond to calls during work hours.

April, 2016

Laugh your way to the bank with a stand-up comedy fund-raiser

Who needs to laugh more than the Fire Companies ---the first responders who deal with dangerous circumstances each and every day? There’s an innovative concept for fund-raising developed by Joey Novick, who is a stand-up comedian and the Fire Commissioner in his hometown: Stand-up comedy shows. Fire companies can get much-needed laughs and profit financially as well. Novick's company, ComedyWorks, provides all-star headline comedians from HBO, Comedy Central, Showtime, Last Comic Standing, and the Tonight Show. Novick’s been producing comedy shows since 1977, and has experience producing shows with such comedians as Jerry Seinfeld, Rosie O’Donnell, Larry The Cable Guy, and Tim Allen. "The comedians were very funny, and very professional," wrote Mark Bruhmuller, Fire Chief of the Churchtown Fire Company of New York. “Joey Novick did an excellent job. Everybody loves to laugh, and it's a great deal of fun." ComedyWorks produces more than 300 shows a year, almost 150 of those for emergency service organizations. The money these shows can

VENDOR TIDBITS Notes from the emergency service business community

raise varies, depending on things like the number of tickets sold, how they're priced, the amount spent on promotion and whether food and drink are available. "Mostly companies produce shows in their own facilities, which may hold 300–400 people," says Novick. "We'll put together a show for them that will bring in comedians from major comedy clubs, with a headliner from HBO, Comedy Central, or the Tonight Show. The feature performer will be someone who's headlined the comedy circuit: Catch a Rising Star, the Improv, the Comedy Store. The host of the show will be a comedian who's very high-energy, like a gameshow host, to get the audience warmed up. A triple headliner show!” The Somerset Fire Company of New Jersey produces two fundraisers a year through ComedyWorks. "We've done about ten shows so far, and it's been great," says Mike Rein-

beck, who coordinates the shows for the 65-member volunteer department. "A friend of mine who had used Joey told me, 'This guy books really good acts.' So, we did the first show, everything was great, and we've been doing shows with Joey ever since." "I find their people to be very funny," agrees Adam Hubney, chief of the Atlantic Highlands Volunteer Fire Department in New Jersey, which books comedians through ComedyWorks for its annual dinner. "We have a professional comedy club in our county, and the quality is just as good." Comedy Works provides a 30-page ‘How-To’ guide that assists organizations through the comedy show production and warns of mistakes to avoid. "We make sure they follow everything in the guide," says Novick. "If a company has never done this before, it gives you everything from you need to know. We make sure that things get done right. Clients who follow the guide always do very well and tend to make money.” For information on Comedy Works, call 1 (888) 782-4589, go to or e-mail

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April, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY




Firefighter Medina retires with 23 years of service Buffalo Firefighter John Medina of Engine Co. 26 spent his last day as a member of the Buffalo Fire Department after 23 years of exemplary service to the citizens of Buffalo on January 19, 2016. His brothers and sisters in the department threw him a party in his honor on March 5, 2016 at Amigo's Restaurant.

It’s been said that cardiac disease is the most prevalent killer of EMS personnel. Our penchant for poor eating habits has a lot to contribute to that statistic. Isn’t it ironic how often we try to save our patients from the very same ailment? First responders work long and sometimes longer hours and of course there are no guarantees for breaks, snacks or lunch. We never know from one day to the next if we’ll get a chance to sit and take our boots off or if we’ll ever get off the crew room couch. Our work day is irregular at best. When the average 9-to-5 worker is having their morning coffee, we’re ready for lunch (if we even get the chance). We might even be headed home from work and looking forward to a few hours of sleep. With such erratic hours, it’s hard to concern ourselves with our own well-being. Obviously if we could prepare a select group of meals and actually get the chance to sit and eat them when we should, we could be much more careful with our diets and probably weight. Kind of unrealistic though… However, we can make things much easier on ourselves and avoid the mood swings and sluggishness caused by hunger pangs and poor

EMS Energizers

nutrition. Those improvements will also make things better for the people we work with and the patients we treat. Start your day, whatever time it begins, with protein and don’t run on empty. It’s not just a saying, breakfast is the most important meal of the day — but it should not be the only meal. A lot of people will grab a cup of coffee and a sweet bun or buttered roll and call it breakfast. That really doesn’t provide you with a lot of nutrition to go on. EMS is both a physically and emotionally draining job and you need to energize it after a (hopefully) full night’s sleep (or day depending on your work schedule). If you really want that roll, slap a slice or two of cheese on it, instead of butter spread peanut or cashew butter, or even a leftover piece of meat from the day before. Other convenient take-to-go breakfasts include a hard-boiled egg made the day before, cottage cheese or yogurt (Greek is higher in protein). Brown-bagging food to eat during your shift may or may not be your style, but whether you want to bring along meals or simply snacks, start your smart planning in the grocery store. Read the nutritional labels and concentrate on protein, fiber, low sugar, low salt, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Use a small cooler and a frozen ice pack and carry food with you

such as a tuna fish sandwich on whole-grain bread, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chef’s salad, egg salad, cheeses, etc. Don’t eat carbs without protein. We know that it is relatively safe to assume our meal breaks may not happen when we intend them to so whether you’ve brought the meals with you or plan to buy food with your partner, bring along snacks, Stash a package of rice cakes and a jar of peanut butter in the crew room for a quick and easy source of energy to stave off the hunger and keep your body fueled. Other terrific snacks include fruits like apples or oranges, nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, sunflower or pumpkin seeds), celery or carrot sticks, cheese, raw green beans, grape tomatoes, hummus and low-salt thin wheat crackers. For a sweet treat, make your own “gorp” (trail mix) with nuts, raisins, and dark-chocolate morsels. Eat something light every few hours and it will not only keep you going, it will also reduce the chances that you will overeat when you finally sit down to a meal. Finally, stay hydrated with lots of water or an occasional clear juice (you can even dilute it with water). Stay away from carbonated sodas (even diet), reduce caffeine, and limit your (off-duty) alcohol consumption. Bon appetite!

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

April, 2016


APPARATUS IN ACTION If you have photos you would like to see in our Apparatus in Action feature, please upload them on our website or email them to


Latham Fire Department’s 419 in action at a marina fire on March 5, 2016. Vehicles and debris were scattered across the highway


Four injured in head on rollover MVA, three medevacs called in Vails Gate, NY. On March 4th at approximately 2 p.m., Vails Gate Fire Department along with New Windsor EMS were alerted to a serious motor vehicle accident on Route 747 in the area of International Blvd. JUMP TO FILE # Multiple calls to 080713101 911 indicated two cars head on with rollover. EMS arrived on scene and assessed the situation, finding four patients. Vails Gate Fire Department needed to extricate multiple patients and a request for three medevac helicopters was made due to the extent of the injuries. All patients were extricated within 35 minutes with the three seriously injured transported to Westchester Medical Center by helicopter. One was transported by ambulance to St. Luke’s Newburgh Campus. The total time on scene was just over an hour with police shutting down the road for an extended period of time to allow reconstruction of the scene. Multiple agencies were on scene or standby which included Vails Gate Fire, Salisbury Mills Fire, Fire Coordinator 36-14, New Windsor EMS, Emstar EMS, Cornwall EMS, Blooming Grove EMS Medic, Monroe EMS Stby, EMS Coordinator 2 and 12, New Windsor PD, New York State Police, and ATF. Helicopters were LifeNet, Hackensack, and AirMed.

Three medevacs were brought in to transport one driver and her two children to a trauma center. ORANGE & ROCKLAND COUNTY FIRE

Along with these agencies, there were a number of first responders and citizens rendering

aide before units arrived on scene. - THOMAS GODOY


April, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

Two fires in one night, possibly suspicous

Buffalo firefighters were called out to battle a structure fire at 144 Olympic Ave. near the city's Bailey Delavan section early Saturday morning, February 13, 2016. Firefighters used three-one and three quarter inch hand lines and 50 feet of ladders to bring the fire in the vacant two story platform structure under control. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation. Damage was listed at $10,000 to the building. Division Chief Peter Kertzie was in command.

JUMP TO FILE #021316100 Shortly after firefighters left the scene, neighbors reported seeing flames coming from the structure. The chief reported it looked intentionally set as the fire was in an unburned section of the structure. The fire marshal's was requested back to the fire scene to investigate. - DAVID KAZMIERCZAK


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Close call at Lima house fire Lima, NY. At around 1 a.m., March 3rd, Lima and East Avon firefighters were dispatched to a reported garage fire at 2374 Poplar Hill Road in Lima. Fire units arrived on location and reported a working fire in an attached garage of a single story home. Mutual aid was requested to the scene from Livonia, Lakeville, Hemlock, Rush, and Ionia Fire Departments. Also assisting at the scene were Lima, Livonia and Honeoye Falls EMS/ALS, along with the

JUMP TO FILE #030616108 Livingston County Sheriff's Office. There were a few tense moments, after a ceiling collapsed, briefly trapping two East Avon firefighters, who were rescued by a FAST team from Livonia. One of the trapped firefighters was treated for burns at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester and later released. The other firefighter was uninjured and re-

mained on the scene. A resident of the home was also treated for smoke inhalation. Officials from the Livingston County Office of Emergency Management and the Livingston County Sheriff's Office believe that the blaze was caused by wood stove ashes, which were improperly disposed of in the garage. The displaced occupants of the home were being assisted by the Red Cross. - JEFFREY ARNOLD

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April, 2016


FACES OF NEW YORK’S EMERGENCY SERVICES To see your action shots in the newspaper upload them on our website or email them to

Latham Fire Department at a recent fire on Buchman Drive in Colonie


The Washingtonville Fire Department 2015 Member of the Year Award was recently presented to Past President Dennis Geyer



West Point firefighters in action in the City of Newburgh at a fire on March 3rd on Lake Drive.

Mariaville Fire Departments Ken Montgomery



Buffalo Firefighter J. Rowley mans the pump panel of Engine 4


April, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

FACES OF NEW YORK’S EMERGENCY SERVICES To see your action shots in the newspaper upload them on our website or email them to


On Sunday February 21 the Monroe & Salisbury Mills Fire Department’s held a joint ice rescue drill on Beaver Dam Lake.

Good-Will Assistant Chief Chris Wilson at the scene of an overnight fire on February 23. BOB ROOT


City of Beacon firefighters extended their ladder on March 3rd on Lake Drive in the City of Newburgh



Clinton Heights Fire Department members at the scene of a second alarm in Schodack

Lt. Ken Sikora Engine Co.36 3rd Platoon taking up after a thrd alarm fire at 863 Niagara St.

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

April, 2016


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Tribe brings additional ambulance coverage to Akwesasne Akwesasne, NY. Effective Tuesday, March 1, 2016, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe established an ambulance substation unit based in Hogansburg to augment existing ambulance services for the community. The 1,600 square foot substation was established in response to com- JUMP TO FILE# munity member re- 030416101 quests at monthly Tribal meetings. The on-territory presence of a fulltime Advanced Life Support (ALS) unit in Akwesasne improves their response times, regardless of an emergency call’s origin in the territory. It will also reduce delays associated with roadside ambulance intercepts on route to the hospital. The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe has contracted with Seaway Valley Ambulance (SVA) to provide ALS staff and equipment to the substation. The arrangement with Seaway Valley will entail SVA serving as primary responder for Akwesasne’s southern portion, with Akwesasne Mohawk Ambulance (AMA) Service providing backup support. Conversely, the presence of an ALS ambulance unit in the territory will significantly decrease ALS response times for backup support for Akwesasne’s northern portion. - RANDY MONTOUR

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April, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

April, 2016



April, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

New York

VENDOR SPOTLIGHT TheFireStore promotes James Witmer to Chief Executive Officer

TheFireStore, the nation’s leading multi-channel distributor of public safety equipment, supplies, training, and service is pleased to announce the promotion of James Witmer to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective February 10, 2016. Witmer, former Vice President of Sales, has been a crucial member of the TheFireStore team since joining the company in 2003 as the Special Projects Manager. From there, James worked his way through the company ranks, serving as the Marketing Manager, Director of Business Development, and most recently, Vice President of Sales. Witmer will be assuming the CEO position in place of his father, Jim Witmer, who will continue to serve as Co-Founder and Chairman of TheFireStore. With this promotion, he will take on the added responsibility of establishing strategic growth priorities, articulating the company’s vision, setting the company culture, ensuring key positions are defined and filled, providing resources, and removing obstacles.

In October of 2014, TheFireStore shared with their customer family and friends that Jim Witmer had been diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease at only 57 years of age. Since then, James has been leading the charge in ensuring that the company continues to grow as it always has—with the support of its excellent customers, positive relationships with the manufacturers it represents, and the hard work and dedication of its fantastic employees. James has been vital in the recent acquisition of Heroes Apparel in Richmond, VA; expanding the company’s SCBA sales and service footprint to include the state of New Jersey; explosive growth in both the outside and web-based sales for all TheFireStore brands, and targeting corporate philanthropical efforts at Alzheimer’s research.

“I am so excited to have the opportunity to lead TheFireStore into the future,” said James Witmer. “It is humbling to follow in the footsteps of my father, a true visionary, and I am so thankful for this beautiful business that he has architected. I am grateful that my parents are not abdicating their role as owners and that they will

be a sounding board for me as I grow in this role.”

Fire/EMS/Rescue Expo 2016 presented by the New England Association of Fire Chiefs

New Location: Foxwoods Resort and Casino, CT Three Day Expanded Professional Development Program Sold Out Exhibitor floor featuring Fire Apparatus and Equipment

The entire team at TheFireStore is excited to celebrate James as their new CEO, and looks forward to the continued success they’re cer- The New England Association of Fire Chiefs (NEAFC) is excited to announce tainly going to experience. an expanded Professional Development “You can’t help but to beam with Program at their 2016 Expo being held at pride when you see your children the Foxwood’s Resort Casino in Conthrive and succeed. James is a necticut, starting with the Annual meeting born leader, and it’s really great of the Association on Wednesday June 22, getting to witness success after followed by professional development success in not only his role at The- programs on Thursday, June 23rd, Friday, FireStore, but his role as a hus- June 24th, and Saturday, June 25th, 2016. band and father, too,” said Jim Thursday, June 23rd will feature four edWitmer. ucational program tracks. Participants “This is a very exciting time for us may select one of the four program tracks, as a company and we are proud of each of which will be full day program. the growth we have seen in James in recent years. He will do a great The first offering will feature a chief offijob leading us forward,” said Ruth cer track that will target current chief ofWitmer, President of TheFire- ficers and aspiring chief officers. The second offering will feature a company Store. officer track that will target company of“I’m honored by the trust that my ficers and those seeking future promotion. family has in me and also the team The third offering will feature a company that I work with on a daily basis,” officer/firefighter track which will be said James. “I know that what we geared toward operational issues on the have accomplished and what we fire ground. Finally, the fourth offering will accomplish is not the result of any one person, but through the hard work of many and by the grace of God.” James holds a degree in Accounting from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He and his wife Keshet Witmer have four children. James sits on the committee for Northern Chester County Young Life, is on the Missions Leadership Committee at Providence Church in West Chester, PA, and has been a member of Vistage since 2011. About Witmer Public Safety Group, Inc.

will feature an EMS Educational track geared towards a full day of EMS skills training. On Friday, June 24th, the morning’s keynote speaker is Keni Thomas, an Army Ranger involved in the “Black Hawk Down” mission. Keni’s motivational speech on leadership and teamwork will inspire all, who attend, as he is a nationally renowned presenter receiving high praise from the hundreds of audiences he has spoken to.

Friday’s afternoon breakout sessions will include six hot topics involving todays’ fire and emergency services. Participants will be able to attend any one of the six breakout sessions. On Saturday, June 25th, the morning’s keynote speaker is Ray McCormack, from the New York City Fire Department, who has been a well-received keynote speaker at several nationally recognized fire service conferences. Ray will speak quite frankly on today’s fire service issues and give the audience a real world presentation of the topics that truly face the fire service but many times nobody wants to talk about.

will include the same six current hot topics involving todays’ fire and emergency services that were presented on Friday. Be sure to enjoy the sold out exhibit floor to see all new fire apparatus and equipment on Friday and Saturday from 9-5 each day.

Thursday night after the educational sessions, there will be a Memorial Service for our deceased members. Following the Memorial Service will be a dress down Presidential Celebration with food, beverage, and a live band all are welcome. Friday night, our Cooperate Sponsor Shipman's will host a hospitality extravaganza in one of the ballrooms with a nine piece band, food, and beverages. Watch for additional information.

In addition to the casino and other hotel entertainment during this conference, there is plenty for families to do. The pool is a beautiful full service with hot tubs and more. There is a museum to visit and many shopping opportunities with Tanger Outlets on site. These are just a few of the highlights for this year’s New England Fire/Rescue/EMS Expo.

APPARATUS FOR SALE Saturday afternoon’s breakout sessions


Witmer Public Safety Group, Inc.’s (THEFIRESTORE) motto is Equipping Heroes™; this is accomplished by providing the industry's best equipment and supplies to the professional men and women who serve to ensure the public's safety. THEFIRESTORE prides itself on its competitive prices on quality products coupled with top-level customer service not found anywhere else in the industry. For additional information, please call (800) 8526088 or visit

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1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

April, 2016



April, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


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1st Responder New York April Edition  

1st Responder New York April Edition