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West Ghent Fire and Greenport Rescue were dispatched to a reported AAPI with rollover and entrapment on Friday afternoon, October 9th, in Columbia County. Two patients were extricated from an SUV and a third patient was treated and assisted from a pickup truck.

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December, 2015

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


Car fire on old bungalow property The Washingtonville Fire Department received a call at 7:32 a.m. on Sunday, November 1st for a smoke investigation at the Round Hill Elementary school. Upon arrival and further investigation, we found a car fire on the property that used to contain old bungalows, on the west side of Rt. 208, just south of Round Hill School. It was set back and deep onto the property.


Fourth alarm destroys Newburgh tortilla factory City of Newburgh, NY. An early morning fire at approximately 5:30 a.m. in the City of Newburgh destroyed a tortilla warehouse at 225 Washington Street. The initial alarm came in with the possibility of subjects possibly on the second floor. Newburgh firefighters quickly arrived on scene and were put to work. Vails Gate was dispatched as the first FAST team with Mobile Life on standby. The building was 50% involved with fire through the roof well before 6 a.m. with multiple lines in operation. Multiple exposures were at risk

JUMP TO FILE #102615108 and ladder pipes were set up to thwart extension. Castle Point was alerted as a second FAST. A fourth alarm was needed about two hours into the firefight. The main body of fire was knocked down at about 8:45 a.m. with extensive overhaul needed. Multiple firefighters were treated for minor injuries at a local hospital. Soon after 9:30 a.m., units were picking up and being released.


On scene units included the City of Newburgh, West Point, Castle Point (FAST), Vails Gate (FAST and one truck), New Windsor, Orange Lake, Good-Will, Cornwall on Hudson as well as 36-13. In addition, Daisy, the arson dog, from Westchester County was brought in for assistance. Standby units included Cronomer Valley and Salisbury Mills. The cause of the early morning blaze is under investigation by local officials. - HEATHER PILLSWORTH


Au Sable responds to mutual aid fire

Third alarm in Mount Vernon

The Au Sable Forks Fire Department was called out at 3:16 p.m. to respond mutual aid to assist the Keene Valley Fire Department at a fully involved structure fire located off of Route 73. The members are in the process of overhauling the destroyed structure. Fire departments from Keene, Lake Placid, Jay, Upper Jay, Wilmington, Elizabethtown and the Elizabethtown-Lewis Emergency Squad responded via mutual aid to assist at the fire. A tanker task force was activated to bring water from over three miles away to this remote scene.

along with Engine 312, Ladder 73 and Battalion 2 from the Yonkers Fire Department. The fire quickly spread into the neighboring businesses and the multiple dwelling on the second and third floors. After burning for about an hour, the multiple dwelling collapsed into a vacant lot on the exposure 4 side. Two tower ladders (MV TL1 and

On October 19, 2015 at approximately 1:45 a.m., Mount Vernon fire companies were toned out to 226 Gramatan Avenue between West Lincoln Avenue and North Street for a reported fire in the building. Engine 4 arrived on scene first due to find a heavy smoke condition throughout a three story mixed occupancy with the main body of fire located in the basement. Tower Ladder 3 from the Pelham Manor Fire Department was special called to the scene

JUMP TO FILE #102015101

PMFD TL3), two ladder pipes (YFD L73 and MV L2), multiple handlines and multiversals were set up and put into operation. The fire burned for about eight hours and was placed under control around 11:00 a.m. Monday morning. During the fire, Squad 15 from the Greenville Fire District and Tower Ladder 6 from the White Plains Fire Department covered the city of Mount Vernon. - JOHN HOPPER

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December, 2015



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1st Responder News (ISSN 1525-1683) - New York edition - Vol. 16 No. 12 - 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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Buffalo, NY Fire 34 Harvey Pl.

Middlehope mourns commissioner

Buffalo, N.Y. Firefighters of the 6th Battalion 1st Platoon were called out to battle a structure fire in a two and a half story frame dwelling at 34 Harvey Pl. in the city's Valley Section on September 21, 2015. The fire started in a second floor bedroom and spread to the attic. Firefighters used three 1 3/4" hand lines and 45' of ladders to bring the fire under control. While companies were working the Harvey Pl. fire, a house on Coit St. was firebombed. Damage was extensive and the cause of the fire is under investigation. The Red Cross was called to assist. Division Chief Peter Kertzie was in command.

The Middlehope Fire Department announced the passed of Commissioner Bill Evans, Sr. on October 7th. Commissioner Evans was Beloved Father of Bill Evans Jr (Member) & Colleen Corizzo (Ladies Auxiliary) and Grandfather of Michelle Slaughter (Ladies Auxiliary) & Michael Corrizo Jr (Member). Commissioner Evans proudly served the US Army during the Korean War and continued in the reserves until 1960. Visitation was held at the Brooks Funeral Home, which included a firematic service. Burial was at the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newburgh with military honors.


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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

Missouri: Larry J. Leggio, 43 Rank: Fire Apparatus Operator Incident Date: October 12, 2015 Death Date: October 12, 2015 Fire Department: Kansas City (Missouri) Fire Department Missouri: John V. Mesh, 39 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: October 12, 2015 Death Date: October 12, 2015 Fire Department: Kansas City (Missouri) Fire Department

Initial Summary: Fire Apparatus Operator Larry J. Leggio and Firefighter John V. Mesh died from injuries sustained in a structural collapse while working at the scene of an apartment building fire. Multiple units were dispatched at 1927hrs on initial calls that indicated fire visible from the structure; additional units were dispatched as the incident escalated, with a full second alarm requested shortly after arrival. Tactical assignments were made, including establishing a Rapid Intervention Team, and crews began operating to effect fire suppression and occupant rescue, rescuing multiple occupants by ladder prior to deteriorating conditions and forcing a shift to defensive operations. Evacuation was ordered at 1952hrs. At approximately 2007hrs, a collapse was reported on the east side of the building. Two MAYDAY calls were received from the collapse area, indicating firefighters in urgent distress; four firefighters were reported trapped by the collapse. The Rapid Intervention Team witnessed the collapse and held their ground for no more than 10 seconds until Command ordered them to effect the rescue. They located, uncovered and removed several firefighters from the immediate area. The first ambulance transporting a firefighter departed the scene at approximately 2013hrs, arriving at Truman Medical Center (TMC) approximately five minutes later. A second emergency transport left the scene at approximately 2021hrs with arrival at TMC five minutes following. Both those firefighters, Fire Apparatus Operator Leggio and Firefighter Mesh, were pronounced dead at the hospital after paramedics, nurses and doctors had attempted to revive them. A third firefighter was transported to University of Kansas Medical Center at 2023hrs and a fourth transported non-emergency to St Luke’s at approximately 2027hrs; their condition is still to be reported. The cause of the fatal fire is being investigated by local, state, and federal authorities.

Tennessee: Antonio Smith, 46 Rank: Lieutenant Incident Date: October 6, 2015 Death Date: October 7, 2015 Fire Department: Memphis Fire Department Initial Summary: Fewer than 24 hours after responding to an emergency call with the Memphis Fire Department, Fire Lieutenant Smith was found deceased near his residence inside of his personal vehicle. The nature and cause of Lieutenant Smith's fatal injury are still to be reported. Ohio: Charles “Chuck” Horning, 54 Rank: Captain Incident Date: October 13, 2015 Death Date: October 13, 2015 Fire Department: Townsend Township Fire Department Initial Summary: Fire Captain Horning was found deceased, slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle, approximately eight hours after responding to a fire call with his fire department. The nature and cause of the fatal injury is still to be determined.

New Jersey: Gerald "Bear" Celecki, 70 Rank: Fire Police Officer Incident Date: October 14, 2015 Death Date: October 14, 2015 Fire Department: South Amboy Fire Department Initial Summary: Fire Police Officer Celecki collapsed while directing traffic at an emergency incident. Celecki, who was also chief of the Middlesex County Fire Police, was treated on-scene by fellow responders and transported to the hospital but succumbed to a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be determined.

Texas: Larry O'Neil , 58 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: October 25, 2015 Death Date: October 25, 2015 Fire Department: Lone Camp Fire Department Initial Summary: Firefighter O'Neil was responding to an emergency medical call in a fire department vehicle and had just arrived on-scene when fellow responders noticed that he had become ill. Firefighter O’Neil was removed from the vehicle, provided medical assistance, and transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to a nature and cause of injury still to be reported but thought to be cardiac related.

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

December, 2015



December, 2015

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


Patients extricated in Columbia County

West Ghent Fire and Greenport Rescue were dispatched to a reported AAPI with rollover and entrapment at the intersection of state Route 9H and Stockport Road Friday afternoon, October 9th, in Columbia County. Two patients were extricated from an SUV and a third patient was treated and assisted from a pickup truck. A fourth was also injured. Greenport Rescue transported the injured to Albany Medical Center. Two were listed in critical condition. Route 9H was closed for more than an hour as the New York State Police and Columbia County Sheriff's Department investigated.



Boght holds open house

Colonie, NY. The Boght Community Fire District held its annual open house on Saturday, October 3rd at the firehouse on Preston Drive. The event included bouncy bounces, tours, food, and a poster contest. T-shirts were also available for sale to mark Breast Cancer awareness month. For the second straight year, the day started with a 5K race through Colonie Mohawk River Park.

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December, 2015

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Fire prevention block party in Waterford BOB ROOT

Fire strikes in City of Newburgh City of Newburgh, NY. After a four alarm fire struck destroyed a warehouse the day before, a second alarm was needed for a residential fire on the morning of October 26th. Firefighters were dispatched at about 5:15 a.m. for a working fire at 129 Benkard Avenue for fire in a residential dwelling. City of Newburgh firefighters arrived quickly and stretched multiple lines. They found fire in the rear

JUMP TO FILE #102615110

o f the two story building. Soon thereafter, the box was struck for second alarm companies and two fire investigators. Vails Gate arrived at the scene as the FAST. The main body of fire was quickly knocked down and firefight-

ers were tasked with the remaining fire in the walls and cockloft. Overhaul operations continued and mutual aid was soon released. Departments on the scene included the City of Newburgh, Vails Gate (FAST), West Point, New Windsor, and Cornwall on Hudson as well Orange County Fire Coordinator 36-13. - HEATHER PILLSWORTH

If you come down the road in Waterford on Wednesday night, October 7th, you would think you were coming up to a major scene, but it was the annual fire prevention block party. The Waterford Fire Department, F.B. Peck Hose Company, Waterford Rescue Squad, and Waterford Police Department teamed up for a block party event to educate the parents and children of the community on fire safety, first aid and police services. The children, with the help of their parents, had to go to each station along the street earning a ticket. After they completed a fire safety table, they earned a cool fire safety

JUMP TO FILE #101115101 prize like a keychain, water bottle, and coloring books; but the main prize all the children were working toward at the end of the night was the ride in the fire engines around Waterford. The firefighters also did some live demos including a grease fire demonstration and had the fire safety bus from the Saratoga County Fire Prevention Office. The residents of Waterford love the event they put on each year for the community. - JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER


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1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

December, 2015



December, 2015

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY



Excavator fire in Buffalo

These hands make Assistant Fire Chief Tracy Jufer happy. These are the kids who have smoke detectors.

Public education conducted by Wrights Corners

Buffalo, NY. Firefighters of the 4th Battalion 3rd Platoon responded early Wednesday morning, November 4, 2015, for an excavator on fire at a construction site at Niagara and Albany Streets on the city's West Side. Two engines, a ladder, and a chief were dispatched. On arrival, heavy fire was coming from the engine compartment. A one and three quarter inch hand line was deployed and the fire was quickly extinguished.

Fire prevention is what the Wrights Corners Volunteer Fire Company waits for every year. The team taught the students at Desales Catholic School the important information relating to fire prevention week. The first group was instructed about the importance of "Stop, Drop and Roll "by Richie Jufer. The students were instructed to cover their face and hit the ground and roll back and forth. In the cafetaria, Richie’s father, 3rd Assistant Chief Tracy

JUMP TO FILE #102015118 was working with Stephen Hunter using the portable smoke house bedroom. The students watched as the room filled with smoke. When the smoke detector goes off, they were instructed to get on the floor. Volunteers were used to show everyone that they can cling tight to the firefighter and he/she will get them out to safety. They learned about the importance of

the smoke detectors and to remind mom and dad to change the batteries. In the main parking lot, EMS Captain/Fire Rescue Captain JJ McKnight explained the function of Wrights Corners Engine 2. This truck can roll into a working fire, handle a special rescue, or pump water to another truck. The truck is also equipped to handle complex vehicle rescues and remove trapped victims. - STEPHEN WALLACE


Fire prevention held at Kent Elementary Carmel, NY. On October 21, 2015, Kent and Carmel firefighters visited Kent Elementary School to discuss fire prevention and distribute materials.

Kitchen fire battled by Cronomer Valley Town of Newburgh, NY. On the evening of November 3, 2015, Cronomer Valley Fire Department was dispatched to a working structure fire at 49 Meadow Street. Command arrived on scene and dispatched the working fire, requesting mutual aid to the scene and to cover. The City of Newburgh was requested as the FAST.

JUMP TO FILE #110515129 One line was placed into operation for a kitchen fire, which was quickly knocked down. Crews contended with a heavy smoke condition in the home. Central Hudson was requested for a power cut.

The fire was placed under control and units checked for extension. Orange Car 13 arrived on scene and requested the Red Cross to assist with two adults and two children. The cause of the fire is under investigation. - HEATHER PILLSWORTH

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

December, 2015



Vacant residential fire in Solvay Around 11:00 p.m. on October 25th, Solvay Fire was dispatched to Worth Ave for the reports of fire coming from the top floor of a residential dwelling. Solvay Truck 11 responded on dispatch and reported a heavy smoke condition blocks away from the scene. Solvay was updated that multiple calls were now coming in on the incident. Truck 11 arrived confirming fire showing from Side A of a vacant dwelling and called for the Signal 99 (working fire dispatch). Solvay Truck 11 obtained their own water supply and stretched a one and three quarter inch attack line to the second floor of the two and a half story vacant structure.

JUMP TO FILE #102515115 As Truck 11 began to knockdown the fire on the roof, the building collapsed causing command to pull all crews out. Truck 11 was already set up for exterior operations and the tower ladder went into operation. Additional crews from Solvay, Taunton, Lakeside, and Fairmount remained on the scene throughout the night extinguishing the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. - KYLE HALM


No injuries at Buffalo blaze Buffalo, NY. Firefighters of the 3rd Battalion 2nd Platoon were called out to battle a structure fire at 68 Loepere St. on the city's East Side on Monday, November 2, 2015. The fire was in an occupied one and a half story frame dwelling. Firefighters used multiple one and three quarter inch hand lines and 45' of ladders to bring the fire under control. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation. Damage was extensive. Division Chief Patrick Brittzalaro was in command.


December, 2015

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


Traffic halted on busy Route 211 Town of Wallkill, NY. Traffic was halted on busy Route 211 at approximately noon on Monday, September 26th for an overturned dump truck, which contained stone. Silver Lake firefighters responded to Route 211 at Ballard Road and found the driver self-extricated. EMS tended to the driver while firefighters contained the large spill from the bed of the truck as well as fuel issues. Mutual aid was requested to the scene and fire police were needed to assist with shutting down the main thoroughfare. It took several hours to clean up the scene and to get the truck uprighted. The cause of the accident is under control.

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Round Lake Firefighter Sara Potter


1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


December, 2015

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Working fire in Westvale knocked down In the late evening hours, Solvay Fire was dispatched to a possible residential fire on Walberta Rd., Westvale, in the first due. Engine 22 called enroute moments later with updated information and multiple callers reporting smoke coming from a house in the 200 block of Walberta Rd. Engine 22 layed out at the hydrant at Walberta JUMP TO FILE # Rd. and Dorchester 102515114 Rd. and arrived to find a heavy smoke condition in the area. Engine 22's officer conducted a 360 size-up of the structure and found fire coming from the C side of the house. Engine 22's crew was already stretching a 1.75 inch attack line into the structure when command called the Signal 99 (working fire dispatch). Engine 22's crew quickly found the fire and began to knock it down while Solvay Truck 11 and Taunton Ladder 5 began to pull ceilings, check for extension, and conduct primary searches of the structure. The fire was knocked down in less than 15 minutes and the assignment was quickly scaled back. The fire was held to a rear bedroom of the garage with no extension into the main house. Units remained on the scene for the next hour while investigators worked on determining the cause of the fire. Crews went in service around 11:00 p.m. Units from Solvay, Taunton, Fairmount, and Onondaga Hill responded to the scene. - KYLE HALM


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December, 2015

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


Troy firefighters conducting heavy overhaul


Second alarm fire destroys Troy home


One transported from Washingtonville MVA

On October 30, 2015, Washingtonville Fire Department, Blooming Grove Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Blooming Grove Police responded to a multi-vehicle motor vehicle accident at Route 94 and Round Hill Road. On patient was transported to Orange Regional Medical Center by Blooming Grove VAC.

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Multiple calls came in for 2 Howard St. in the city of Troy for a reported house on fire on the second floor on November 1st. Engine 3 arrived and called for the Signal 3, the second alarm. Firefighters had heavy fire on the Bravo and Charlie sides of the structure. Firefighters immediately pulled multiple hand lines into the structure to the second floor and went to working hitting the heav-

JUMP TO FILE #110315109 ily involved home. Truck 2 sent crews right to the roof to vent in the rear of the structure. The fire had made it’s way to the rear roof of the house. As soon as the other engines arrived, firefighters went to work pulling walls and ceilings, looking for additional fire spread.

All occupants of the home that were inside made it out safely. Firefighters were able to gain control of the fire within 30 minutes, but heavy overhaul was necessary due to the extensive damage. Firefighters faced challenges with their apparatus on the steep hill. No firefighters were injured and the home was a total loss. - JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER

Rooming house fatalities in Buffalo Buffalo, NY. Firefighters of the 3rd Battalion 2nd Platoon dispatched a P.S. assignment two engines and a ladder for a report of smoke on Curtiss St. near the city's JUMP TO FILE# historic Central Ter- 101015100 minal early Saturday morning October 10, 2015. Engine Co. 22 reported heavy smoke from the old Depot Inn at 392 Curtiss St. and requested the balance of a full box. Multiple one and three quarter inch hand lines were stretched along with a couple of two and a half inch hand lines with 100 feet of ground ladders. There was a report of occupants trapped in the building. Conditions were deteriorating and companies were ordered to evacuate the large two and a half story frame rooming house. Ladder Co. 14 and Ladder Co. 6 placed their tower ladders into operation. Many occupants escaped the building. Reports from them indicated some residents were still missing. The ladder pipes were shut down and Rescue Co. 1 , Engine Co. 3 and Ladder Co. 5 made a search of the second floor. Rescue Co. 1 located two victims and notified command. The two were pronounced at the scene.

The MCI rig was called to warm the displaced residents. The Red Cross was also called to assist. Division Chief Mike Biasillo was in command. Damage was listed at $100,000 to the building


and $50,000 to the contents. Emergency demolition was ordered for the structure.


1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

December, 2015



December, 2015

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


Solvay Rescue 11 extricates one At around 5:00 p.m. on September 20th, Solvay Fire was alerted to the scene of a two vehicle collision on Grand Ave. near Western Lights. Upon arrival, Rescue 11 found one occupant trapped inside a vehicle. Rescue 11's crew quickly went to work stabilizing the vehicle and removing the driver's side door while Solvay Engine 12 took care of vehicle hazards. The occupant was quickly removed and transported to the hospital by the ambulance service on scene.


Fourth alarm destroys in Yonkers On Thursday, October 22nd, Yonkers Fire Companies were toned out to 5 South Broadway at Main Street in Getty Square for a reported 10-29 (structure fire). Engine 303 arrived on scene first due, confirming the 10-29. Battalion 1 arrived at the same time and transmitted a 10-30 (all hands) for heavy fire on the first floor of a two story taxpayer. Moments later due to the heavy fire conditions, Battalion 1 transmitted a second alarm. All units responding on the

JUMP TO FILE #102315135 second alarm were redirected to the rear of the building to check for extension to a large church on the Exposure 2 side. The fire quickly consumed the two story 150x50 taxpayer, requiring the transmission of a third alarm. All members were pulled from the interior and the roof of the building and the operation was made an exterior attack. One

tower ladder, three ladder pipes, multiple master streams and handlines were placed into operation. The fire went through the roof, requiring the transmission of a fourth alarm, bringing Fairview Fire Department Ladder 1 to the scene as the new FAST truck. Companies began to make progress after a long fight and the fire was placed probably will hold, as of 11:30 a.m. on Friday, October 23. - JOHN HOPPER


Overturn on Halloween morning Town of Newburgh, NY. On the morning of October 31, 2015, Cronomer Valley Fire Department was dispatched for an overturned vehicle on Route 32 near Fostertown Road. According to reports, the driver may have left the roadway, driven into a ditch and overturned the vehicle several times. The driver did not appear to have serious injuries, but Town of Newburgh Police are investigating the possibility that he was driving under the influence.


Fire prevention hits new heights for Delmar The Delmar Fire Department held its annual fire prevention day with a larger than normal turn out. The fire department had multiple fire prevention demonstrations for children and parents to help educate them on fire safety. The demonstrations included a live burn of a mock bedroom and they also had special guests from Homeland Security’s Division of

JUMP TO FILE #101215115 Fire prevention and control, K-9 Officer Dax, and his handler Greg Gould. Handler Greg Gould explained what Dax is trained to do and showed off Dax’s skills to climb ladders, amazing the crowd of kids.

The Delmar Fire Department also had a rock wall to promote physical fitness and other great goodies for them to enjoy while learning at the same time. The Delmar Fire Department had multiple giveaways of CO detectors and fire alarms as prizes to parents that attended. - JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER

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December, 2015



December, 2015

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Vehicle News

AmCare Ambulance Service recently placed this De- Senior Care EMS recently took delivery of this Wheeled The Village of Avoca recently placed this Wheeled mers Chevy T-2 into service, purchased from Bob Reilly Coach Citimedic from Bob Reilly of North Eastern Res- Coach T-I 165" into service, purchased from North Eastof North Eastern Rescue Vehicles, Inc. cue Vehicles, Inc. ern Rescue Vehicles, Inc. NORTH EASTERN RESCUE VEHICLES



Cooperstown Medical Transport recently placed this De- The Schroon Lake Fire Department recently placed this The Bovina Fire District recently placed this Demers T-I mers Chevy T-2 into service, purchased from Bob Reilly Braun Chief XL into service, purchased from Ken Jones 150" into service, purchased from Mike Collier of North of North Eastern Rescue Vehicles, Inc. of North Eastern Rescue Vehicles, Inc. Eastern Rescue Vehicles, Inc. NORTH EASTERN RESCUE VEHICLES



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December, 2015


Reflections Chaplain's Corner Didymus McHugh

This time of year, we are so busy running around. We are decorating the station and the fire apparatus for the holidays and getting ready to take Santa around for the children. Then, there is the gathering of your fire company members and a party at the station also. Oh, we forgot to mention the family. We need to pick up the presents for the children and the rest of the family members and the relatives that we may see once a year. Then comes the thought of the actual day. Do you dress up? Whose house will you celebrate at? Is it your parents’ house or your spouse’s relatives? Or, do you go to Aunt Jenny’s house or a friend’s house? Have you thought about the less fortunate? Have you bought them anything? What about the homeless? Do you really know who they are? How many veterans are homeless? Have you decided to work and feed some people? Or bring joy to those who have nobody? Just look at your members or retired members or those in the firemen’s home or local nursing home. Have you taken time to be still and just be with God? Maybe it is time to thank God for all the blessings in your life. We forget God said that He will take care of our needs, not wants, but needs. Have you thanked Him? Yes, I understand that we go through hard times, but did we learn something from that, become stronger or more compassionate? Have you reflected and truly looked in the face of people who need help? Do you really know if it is God in disguise? Let us remember what the holidays are really about. Miracles. For Christians, it is about the miracle of our Savior being born, as a man. For the Jews, it is the miracle of the Hanukkah, which was a miraculous military victory, but a tiny cruse of oil proved more miraculous and enduring in the memory of the Jewish people. Let us reflect on the miracles that we have seen in the past year. Who lived after a bad car accident or survived a fire, or a fall, that by all means should have been dead? We do not always notice the

hand of God at work around us. I challenge you to do as Psalm 46:10 states and “be still and know that I am God”. He is al-

ways here for you, not just when things seem to fall apart. Kiss your loved ones. Let them know how much they mean

to you and keep coming home to them after your calls. Express now to people how much they mean to you. You will

also light up their day. Merry Christmas! Hanukkah! Stay safe.



December, 2015


December 1st, 1974 was a cold, rainy day and night. The temperature hovered just above freezing with the type of damp cold that gets into your bones. I remember that night very clearly after 41 years because just before 7:30 p.m. our dispatch center put in the tones for three adjacent fire departments simultaneously. I was at one of our fire stations serving as a lieutenant with the Hillcrest Fire Company. We heard the multiple tones coming over the dispatch frequency. We all boarded the apparatus and pulled out on the apron, assuming that we were being dispatched to a major structure fire. The dispatcher announced that they had received an emergency notification from the air traffic controllers at Kennedy Airport, indicating that they had lost radar contact with a large Boeing 727 commercial jet liner in the general area of the three very large fire districts. The fire chiefs from all three departments requested more information, but there was none. We all waited, expecting numerous telephone calls from residents reporting a crash, fire, damage, etc., but there was silence. Back then we did not have 911 service, GPS, thermal imaging, cell phones, etc., unlike today when more detailed information would have been available immediately. The chiefs and their teams utilized maps working with law enforcement and started driving on all of the paved and dirt roads in the very large search area. Several hours went by with no leads except for a confirmation that the commercial airliner was missing. Eventually, a New York State police officer driving in on a one-line access road to a summer camp in a very remote and mountainous area, noticed a very strong odor of aviation fuel. With this information, the crash site was eventually located. There was no fire, no survivors; just a scar in this remote location with plane parts scattered over an acre or two. The investigation revealed that the pitot gauge heaters were not activated, allowing them to ice up. Several minutes into the flight, the pilots could be heard saying, "We must have one heck of a tail wind. We are doing 550 knots." It is doubtful that the aircraft could actually travel that rate of speed. The crew decreased their speed, ultimately losing control of the aircraft, which resulted in the tragedy of the plane crash. Last December, a reporter for the local daily newspaper approached me about a 40th Anniversary story of the disaster. In the interview with me, I mentioned that I had always felt that the site should have a memorial of some type that would indicate that it was an area where a major disaster took place. I am an avid hiker, and at some point after the plane crash in 1974, a trail called the "Long Path" was created. This trail starts at the George Washington Bridge, is well over 300

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miles long, and extends to the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York. Coincidentally, the folks that laid out the trail designed it so that it went right through the crash site, and thousands of hikers unknowingly hike through the very remote site every year. After the article was published, I was approached by several other people who also thought that the site should be memorialized. We got together and started planning to do just that. On November 7th, over 100 people attended the dedication, with many hiking in the mile from the nearest public road. To say that this was a rewarding experience for all involved is an understatement. My youngest daughter, Alexandra Wren attended the event and posted her thoughts on her blog. She explains the emotional impact that this memorial had on all of us, better than I can. This post is quite different than the brides and babies and engaged couples I usually feature, but it is, by far, the most emotional and moving experience of my photography career. My favorite aspect of what I do is the inspiration that I discover and the human connection that I make with every person I cross paths with on my photography adventures. The events that I was blessed to experience this weekend were so powerful and transfixing that I can only hope I can do it with justice in this post. Since I was tiny, my father, the king of hiking and all things nature, had my little legs on so many hiking trails throughout Harriman State Park that I probably memorized all the trail markers before I knew the alphabet. He instilled such a love for the woods, and especially Harriman in me that I now, as an adult, often find myself seeking peace and reflection there during every difficult or trying time in my life. The connection I've developed for the woods and mountains of this park have molded my character and have on many occasions, reminded me that this life is a blessing and as much bad as there is in the world, there are good deeds to be done and happiness to spread and I am obligated to get back out there and do some good. Several times over the years, my father has mentioned the site of a plane crash close to where we loved to hike. Even as a child, I remember him telling me that if we visited the crash site, he would be able to show me pieces of debris that still remain on the forest floor, decades later. After years of knowing the crash site but having never been there, my father announced that he was determined to have a memorial put up where the three men on that plane lost their lives. On December 1, 1974 at 7:26 p.m., the plane, a Boeing 727, chartered to pick up the Baltimore colts in Buffalo, NY experienced atmospheric icing and crashed in a marshy area of Harriman State Park, not far from St John's in the Wilderness Church and Lake Welch Drive. The three crew members on board, Captain John Lagorio, First Officer Jim Zadra and Second Officer James cox all perished in the crash. After an investigation, the crash led to changed in cockpit design and several life-saving advancements in commercial pilot training that are still practiced today.

My father's idea to have a memorial put up at the crash site was partially fueled by the fact that the site itself sat directly on a portion of the Long Path..a trail hiked by many hikers each year. These hikers were walking through sacred ground without even knowing it. His plan, to clear away the now overgrown brush, install the memorial and hold a small ceremony began to gain momentum and within months, he and several other collaborators were in touch with the victims' families about their intentions. What started out as an idea for a memorial turned into a beautiful plan for a church ceremony, an intimate plaque unveiling and a dinner to remember and celebrate the lives of those lost. For months, I listened to my father answering and making late-night phone calls to plan for the memorial, even watching him return from he crash site covered in sweat and dirt after digging the hole for the memorial himself...I thought I was inspired then, but I had no idea what was to come. On Saturday, November 7, 2015, the families of the victims gathered in the tiny, beautiful church less than a mile from where their loved ones were lost. The children and siblings of the victims spoke, telling funny stories and sharing moments of comfort they've found over the years. After the peaceful service, the memorial began at the crash site, nestled in the woods just a few minutes from the church. The experience of the flight attendant, who flew with the lost men just hours before the crash spoke, telling of her account of the heroic men she knew them to be. Shortly before noon, accompanied by a helicopter flyover, the memorial was unveiled before the tear-filled eyes of the victims' families, 41 years after the crash. After hearing touching words from the families, carnations were left at the base of the memorial and, to my absolute amazement, tears turned to smiles and grieving hugs became joyful embraces accompanied by laughs and relieved sighs..happy, grateful, relieved sighs. The families of the victims flew from across the country to be at the memorial..from as far away as Minnesota, Washington, California, and Wisconsin. And even more amazing to me was the fact that so many of the family members said to me that they had not been in contact with the other families...that they had simply settled back into their own lives, grieving alone with little closure and without discussing the events of that awful day. As I excitedly accepted an invitation to join the families for dinner later that night, it became clear how powerful this dedication ceremony was for all those present. After 41 years, the families of the victims were together, honoring their loved ones and sharing in the comfort of each other. As I looked around the dining room, it was amazing to see so many happy faces, to hear such beautiful accents from across the country and to know that a great idea and patient, hard work made it all possible for these new friends to be here, together. One of the most powerful moments of the day was the time I spent talking to the sister of one of the pilot's wives. We spoke about life, tragedy and the human ability to be resilient and continue on...that happiness is something you must work for, and if you stop living life to it's

full potential, you slowly begin to slide backwards. You must do what you love and embrace the past to live a truly fulfilling life. Happiness, above all else. I'm tearing up just thinking about this sweet conversation! After a night of happy stories, belly laughs, learning about our new friends, exchanging contact information and promising to never lose contact..Cathie, the wife of Captain Lagorio, announced that everyone was to take home the centerpieces on each of the tables; star-shaped glass bowls housing a pretty little candle. She added, "because my husband was a star. Thing of us every time you light it." May this emotional story and these portraits inspire you to pay it


forward and change someone's life...even in a tiny way. Every tragedy is an opportunity to find a new, brighter light of hope and happiness and most of all, it is never too late. You are never alone. The "star" now has a permanent place on my desk as a reminder of this beautiful day. My wife Robin and I are very proud of Alexandra. She joined the Hillcrest Fire Department over nine years ago. Ironically in September 2014, she experienced a severe ankle injury at an early morning structure fire with a surgery that did not succeed in fixing the injury. This injury has made it impossible for her to take the long hikes that she loves and prevents her from fighting fires.



Vital Signs 2015 EMS Conference The New York State Vital Signs 2015 EMS Conference was held in Syracuse, N.Y. from Thursday October 22nd through Sunday October 25th, 2015. A wide variety of EMS equipment was on display along with a great series of lectures throughout the conference. If you missed it, mark your

JUMP TO FILE #102515101 calendar for next year. The conference will be back in Syracuse from October 13-16, 2016. - DAVID KAZMIERCZAK

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December, 2015

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Yes, we still rescue cats in trees Firefighters stabilizing vehicle for extrication


Warwick responds to an MVA rollover On October 22, 2015, at 2:22 p.m., Warwick Fire Department was dispatched to an MVA rollover on St Rte 17A near Pumpkin Hill and Bellvale Park. Upon arrival, an SUV was found rolled over the guardrail with a female trapped in the vehicle, her four year old daughter was safely removed from the vehicle by neighbors, who assisted at the time of the incident. The female was ex-

JUMP TO FILE #102415103 tricated from the vehicle, and transported via Hackensack Air 2 to Westchester Medical Center. Warwick Fire Department was assisted at the scene by Greenwood Lake Fre Department, Warwick Ambulance, EMStar, Warwick Police and Warwick Fire Police. Mu-

tual aid was also called in from Chester Fire and Florida Fire Departments, who covered calls while Warwick operated at the scene. The mutual aid companies covered a call of a gas main break in Kings Estates. The vehicle was removed by Warwick Valley Auto Body. - DEBORAH SCHWEIKART

For the second time in about a month, we had the pleasure of rescuing a cat in a tree for our neighboring department, the Cattaraugus Indain Reservation Volunteer Fire Department (CIRVFD). Gowanda Fire received a mutual aid request for our quint to respond to Richardson Road in Collins for a service call. A young cat was stuck about 60 feet in a pine tree for at least two days. The owner was very concerned because the cat is normally indoors. The tree was located in a row of tall pines very close together next to a narrow driveway. Placing the ladder without damage was difficult, but accomplished. A member donned his PPE and

JUMP TO FILE #101515108 made the climb up the nearly vertical ladder, and through voice commands instructed the operator in getting him close to the terrified feline. After a few minutes, the cat was in hands and the ladder was lowered to the bed. The happy black cat was transferred back to his owner’s arms. This was the second time that a cat was rescued in this way by Gowanda and CIRVFD in a months time. Sometimes a rescue like this is the best medicine for all involved, even the firefighters! - TIM TWICHELL

Hazmat fire in Green Island sends over two dozen firefighters to hospital


The Village of Green Island Fire Department along with Cohoes, Watervliet, and Watervliet Arsenal Fire Department responded to 70 Cohoes Ave. for a reported warehouse fire. The first arriving unit called out and stated they had a working warehouse fire with heavy smoke showing from the rear of the structure, requesting a second alarm. On the second alarm, the City of Troy was brought in with a engine and a battalion chief. Firefighters had a working fire inside with unknown type chemicals. Crews had to use caution with spraying water on the fire due to not knowing if the water would react. Cohoes Ave command requested the City of Albany with their hazmat team, but they were not available. The City of Troy sent over the Rensselaer County hazmat unit to assist. While waiting for the hazmat unit to arrive, the chemicals inside the structure reacted and began to off-gas. Command immediately gave the order for everyone around the structure to be on air. The Town of Colonie EMS and West Albany

JUMP TO FILE #110315110 Fire Department were dispatched to the scene for decontamination. On arrival, West Albany Fire Department set up and began decontaminating over 30 firefighters. Firefighters were able to gain control of the fire about one hour after arrival and no one was injured. Moderate damage was done to the building. 30 firefighters were sent to the hospital for evaluation. As of the morning after the fire on November 4th, eight Watervliet firefighters remained at Albany Medical Center for exposure to hydrofluoric acid after the fire at Crystal IS Inc., which is a light manufacturing factory. Fire officials state the firefighters are all doing well, and they're just waiting for some test results to come back. In all, 26 Watervliet firefighters and nine Green Island firefighters went to various hospitals as a precaution. - JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER

December, 2015

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Pickup truck versus tree with extrication

At approximately 3:35 p.m. on October 19th, the Pocatello Fire Company was dispatched to the area of 555 County Route 78 for a report of a one car motor vehicle accident, car into a tree with entrapment. Upon arrival, firefighters found the victim trapped in his vehicle with severe intrusion into the drivers compartment. Firefighters extricated the victim within five minutes. Due to the seriousness of the accident and potential serious injuries, the victim was transported to Westchester Medical Center via helicopter. Fire was assisted on scene by Town of Wallkill Ambulance. The investigation into the cause of the accident was turned over to the New York State Police.

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December, 2015

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So, you wanna be Chief? OK, why? What's the reasoning behind it? Think about it for a minute, who's the person with the "bulls-eye" on his/her head when something goes wrong? You guessed it, the Chief! Don't get me wrong, being a Chief, in a volunteer organization has it's upsides, it would just depend on whether you have a great bunch of people below you or if you signed up to be the host of "Romper Room" for your entire term. Either way, you're in for a challenge. Being a volunteer Fire Chief has always been portrayed as an accomplishment by the person who now holds the rank. Normally, to get to this point, there would be a series of steps that needed to be taken, which included a "boat load" of training, and then more training, and then an officers course, and let’s not forget all of the "Incident Command" courses. They all look awesome on a resume, but how does it pan out in the real world? You could be as "sharp as a tack" when it comes to being book smart, but how do you perform when you're staring at a major incident, and everyone is looking at you for instructions? This is your shining moment Chief! Are you going to sink or swim here? Politics always play a role in any election for office. It's a popularity contest to see who has the most friends. Should it be this way? No, and we all know it! It should always be the person who's qualified for the position, not the person that bought the last round! Too many times I've seen individuals get voted into the Chief's line with had no business even being on the ballot. To them, this is an authority fetish. They muscle their way through the ranks, get in as assistant Chief, and feel as if it's their right for a "free ride to the top"! These are the individuals who will challenge the higher ranking Chiefs, and sometimes even in the middle of an incident. When, and if, these Assistant Chiefs get to the top spot, whether they had enough "votes of confidence" from the membership, the arrogance will flow out of the Chief's office so bad that you feel as if you're drowning in a sea of a dictatorship! These Chiefs photos will hang on the wall of department history for all to see in the future. Members will gasp for air, choking on their own stupidity for putting them in there. These Chiefs, my friends, are the ones who coined the phrase "well, when I was Chief"! I've seen candidates for Assistant Chief run three or four times before they got into the position, and when they finally got in, it always appeared that it was a "pity vote"! Members felt so bad that this person ran that many times and lost, so they have to give it to them.

JUMP TO FILE #110415119 You know what, 85% of the time, that person, that nobody wanted to put in because he/she wasn't popular, turns out to be one of the best Chiefs in departmenthistory. Don't look at the friends they have. Don't count the number of times they bought rounds at the bar. Look at their history. Look at their accomplishments in the department. Try and look into the future and see what type of leader they will be in four years. I asked why someone would want to be Chief in these times, and there are many reasons or possible explanations that would answer that question. Some do it for the "glory", and wear the badge proudly on their t-shirts. Then you have the "I have more training than the rest of you" campaign where somebody has felt the need to put themselves into a "class of their own" and supply their own pedestal. And then you have the "quiet campaign", the candidate who has held positions favorably in the department, worked his way through the ranks as a respected officer, and always has the level-headed attitude that has earned him/her strong recognition department-wide. Regardless of who you choose, this person, when reaching the top spot in the department, will have to endure the struggles of the modern day volunteer Fire Chief. He/she will have to deal with issues such as keeping on top of yearly mandated training, local politicians, lawsuits, commissioners, department procedures and purchases, and the top issue, the membership. He/she will become the "father figure" for the entire house. Just as at home, he/she will have to deal with the "he did this" and "she did that" that goes hand in hand with the personality conflicts of the membership. The Chief will, at times, have to separate members and send them into different corners for a "time out" cooling down period. They will, without a doubt, have to punish someone. So, is it really worth the time and aggravation in seeking that top spot? Is it worth the time that you will lose from your family and friends, the vacations that you can't go on, the constant phone calls at all hours of the day? Some dread the thought, while others welcome it with open arms. I, myself, have childhood dreams of becoming a Chief, still do some days. However, were they dreams or tuned down nightmares that I envisioned? Regardless of my personal fantasies and preferences, you can ask any past/ex Chief, "was it worth it"? The answer will always be yes!


Live fire demonstration at Bell Top Elementary School in North Greenbush On Wednesday, October 7th, the Defreestville Fire Department took a visit to Bell Top School. With about 300 students standing outside the school waiting for the fire engines to arrive, the chief of the department got the students to cheer and scream as the fire engines pulled into the school parking lot with lights and sirens on. As the firefighters exited the truck and lined up, one of the special guests the department brought along for the first time peaked around the back of the engine. It was Sparky. The children screamed and gave high fives to sparky. The fire department had all the

JUMP TO FILE #101315100 students go into the gym and they went over fire safety and the state’s safety message for 2015 of“ Can you hear the beep in your sleep?” Firefighters also showed the students how they put on their gear and crawled around the aisles letting the children touch and talk to them. The chief broke the children up in to three groups, each getting a firefighter and letting the firefighters do a donning race. The students cheered and screamed on their firefighter. After the race was over, the

students were brought outside to show the dangers by doing a mock bedroom fire. Firefighters lit a candle next to a couch and showed how the fire caught the couch and on fire and spread to the rest of the room. As students watched the fire engines pull into the parking lot and firefighters pulled a hand line to the burning bedroom to put the fire out. The crowd of students cheered and screamed after the fire was knocked down. Firefighters at the end reminded students to call 911 in case of a fire and not to play with fire. - JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER

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


Solvay Engine 21 and Car 1 on the scene of a fire in Onondaga Hill


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December, 2015



Multi car accident in Elsmere Fire District On October 23, 2015, the Elsmere and Selkirk Fire Departments responded to the area of 68 Route 9w for a multi car accident. Arriving units had multiple cars with heavy damage, but no injuries. Firefighters checked out each car to make sure there were no fire hazards. A part of the road was shut down for a short time, but was reopened quickly after the cars were removed.

Two car MVA with possible ejection Seaway Valley Ambulance, Massena Fire and Massena Rescue were toned out on Wednesday, October 7 at 8:30 a.m. for reported two car MVA with possible ejection. Arriving units found one pick up truck with the front end damage the occupants suffered no injuries. The other vehicle a black Jeep

JUMP TO FILE #100815106 suffered rear end damage and the driver was ejected and thrown approximately six feet. The patient was stabilized and transported to Massena Memorial Hospital for treatment of a laceration to his face and the right side

body pain. The accident was caused when the driver of the jeep suffered a coughing attack and illegally stopped on state Route 37. Both vehicles were towed from the scene and all units reported back in service. - RANDY MONTOUR


December, 2015

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Third alarm row house fire in West Albany The West Albany Fire Department was toned for a structure fire at 32 Exchange St. on October 17th. On arrival, Car 67 had a working structure with heavy smoke showing from a large row house, calling the Signal 30 as the chief was getting the residents out. Quickly after the residents were out, the chief called for the second alarm and stated he had four structures involved and requested a second truck company. Crews pulled multiple lines in the structure and went right to work. Multiple units called on the road, fire had rapidly spread to the attics of the row houses and was jumping house to house. The heavy wind was feeding the fire. The rapidly moving fire was getting away from the interior crews. Firefighters were yelling for hand lines to the second floor

JUMP TO FILE #101815109 as the fire rolled across the top of them. As multiple units arrived on scene, firefighters wasted no time going to work. Firefighters started pulling handlines from all available engines and heading in multiple structures to try to get the fire in the common roof. Truck 3 and Truck 9 crews went to the roof and started making cuts as heavy smoke and heat start to push out. The smoke could be seen up to a mile away after the roof was vented. After the fire started to pick up and become heavier, command called for the third alarm. Crews had heavy fire conditions inside the row house from 32-38 Exchange Street and were not mak-

ing a lot of progress due to the heavy sheet rock and tall ceilings. Over 50 firefighters were on scene from West Albany, Menands, Latham, Colonie Village, Fuller Road, Midway, Shaker Road, Boght, Verdoy, and Schuyler Heights Fire Departments to help battle the blaze. While crews were battling the Exchange Street fire, another structure fire came in for the Town of Colonie, but firefighters from Stanford Heights, Rotterdam District 2 Carmen, Midway and Verdoy were able to handle the call. Firefighters were on scene until the late hours of the night conducting overhaul. The fire is under investigation and the Red Cross was brought in to help the misplaced families.


Serious MVA in New Windsor

New Windsor, NY. On the afternoon of Saturday, October 31st, the Vails Gate Fire Department, New Windsor EMS and New Windsor Police responded to a serious MVA on Route 94 at Willow Lane. A medevac was requested for one patient. The cause of the accident is under investigation by local officials.


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


Two vehicle MVA on NY Thruway Solvay Fire Engine 22 and Truck 11


Town of Newburgh, NY. On October 12, 2015 at approximately 3:30 p.m., Winona Lake Engine Company was dispatched to a two car MVA on the New York Thruway. Car 2 found the location of the accident, advising dispatch that it was actually in Cronomer Valley's district. No injuries were reported.

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December, 2015

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


Fire prevention at Meadow Hill School Town of Newburgh, NY. On Friday, October 9th, Winona Lake and Dan Leghorn Engine Companies at Meadow Hill School.


Heavy smoke and flames showing

Buffalo, NY. Firefighters of the 3rd Battalion 1st Platoon were called out to battle a structure fire at 158 Fox St. on Buffalo's East Side on October 15, 2015. Firefighters arrived to heavy smoke and flames from the one and a half story frame dwelling. There was an exposure at 160 Fox St. Firefighters used multiple hand lines and two ladder pipes to bring the fire under control. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation. The Red Cross was called for two adults. Damage was listed at $80,000 to the building and $20,000 to the contents. 160 Fox St. received $3,000 damage to the siding. Act. Division Chief Kraebel was in command.

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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(716) 812 3429 • •


December, 2015

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Water rescue in Watervliet

The Watervliet Fire Department along with the Watervliet Arsenal, Green Island, and Troy Fire Departments responded to a car into the river at the intersection of 787 overpass and 23rd Street. Firefighters had a two car accident with one RV that went airborne through the woods and into the river. Firefighters and police officers raced to rescue the driver from the RV and pull him to safety. The both drivers were taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.

DPW truck ignites in Sullivan County

Town of Bethel, Sullivan County, NY. A spark may have caused the acetylene tanks on a DPW truck to ignite. Firefighters from Kauneonga Lake and White Lake Fire Departments were dispatched to a truck fire at 2:45 p.m. on October 8th. The truck was assigned to a bridge re-construction site on Route 55 in Kauneonga Lake in the Town of Bethel, only 1/4 of a mile from the fire. Firefighters were quickly able to darken down the intense flames. No injuries were reported and the actual cause of the fire is under investigation.

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

December, 2015



December, 2015

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


To see your action shots in the newspaper upload them on our website, email them to or mail them to 1st Responder News, 1 Ardmore Street. New Windsor, NY 12553.


Members of the Round Lake and Malta Ridge Fire Departments combine in a joint effort known as the Fire Companies of Malta

Shaker Road Firefighters Phyllis Rinella and Tyges Besch.


Melrose Fire Department’s Valyou Family



Orange County Fire Coordinator (Car 13) Charlie Piper and City of Newburgh Assistant Chief John Nokland directing operations at a four alarm fire on October 25th.


OFPC Handler Greg Gould Handler with Search Dog Dax

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

December, 2015



December, 2015

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

A youth gets to learn how to use a fire extinguisher during the open house



Malta holds open house/wet down Firefighters battle Malta, NY. The Round Lake and Malta Ridge Fire Departments held a wet down and open house on October 18th at their joint fire station. Known as the fire companies of Malta, the station covers about 14,000 square feet and includes an ETA and mini-rescue from Round Lake, and an ETA and ladder from Malta Ridge. The joint effort is in response to the town's growth in recent years, led by the opening of the Global Foundries computer chip fabrication plant. It also expands on the cooperation that already existed

JUMP TO FILE #102715102 between the departments. “If some of our guys are here doing something and (Malta) gets a call” said Round Lake Chief Frank Mazza, “or they're here and we get a call and need guys to fill the truck, they'll just get on the truck and go.” Each department continues to maintain its own station within its district. In addition to the station, the open house included a wet down for three new trucks. Round

Lake replaced its pick-up truck with a mini-rescue, and replaced its mini-rescue with a heavy rescue. Malta Ridge purchased a 100 foot ladder. “With Global Foundries, three hotels, and three or four story apartment buildings popping up,” said Mazza, “Malta needed a ladder.” A few hundred people came out for the open house, which also included other activities including bailout, hose, fire extinguisher, and door extrication demonstrations. - MIKE CAREY

bedroom fire

Buffalo, NY. Firefighters of the 4th Battalion 2nd Platoon were called out to battle a structure fire at 162 Massachusetts Ave. on Buffalo's West Side Friday evening October 16, 2015. Firefighters arrived to a bedroom fire on the second floor of the two and a half story frame dwelling. The fire was quickly knocked down. A pit bull was led safely from the building. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation. Division Chief Patrick Brittzalaro was in command.

Dalmatian Day: New name, same “spotacular” event! The FASNY Museum of Firefighting held its ninth annual Dalmatian Day on October 10, 2015. This year the event was renamed the “Bob McKinney Memorial Fire Prevention Event: Dalmatian Day.” You might ask: why the change…and who was Bob? Bob McKinney was a museum board member, who served as President of the board for many years. Nine years ago, the museum had never hosted a community event: hard to believe, but true. Bob recognized that to grow the museum, we must start to host events and grow them as well. When I presented the idea of Dalmatian Day to the board, Bob was the first one to embrace the event, and he never wavered in that support. Not only did this event become a grand success, but it was also a favorite of Bob’s, and he attended every year until his health failed. Therefore, to honor him, the museum board decided to change the name of the event. Even though Bob is no longer physically at Dalmatian Day, through this name change, his spirit will continue to live on with the event, and it is our hope his strong and supportive presence will always be felt here at the museum. It was wonderful to see so many members of Bob’s family at the event to honor him as well. However, Bob would not want me to linger too long on him in this article: that was

JUMP TO FILE #102315117 the kind of man he was. So, while I could go on and on about what a special person he was and his many “Bobisms,” I will instead go on to describe the event he loved so much. Dalmatian Day is also a day full of fun and activities! We lure the kids in with the promise of meeting and greeting these amazing dogs and then present fire safety and prevention programs at every turn. Every hour we have a special program presented, along with the ongoing crafts, games and scavenger hunt. This year, we were thrilled to welcome Al Belmont and his fire safety magic show. Mr. Belmont has presented his program in schools across this country and the UK. He is a unique entertainer, being both a former high school teacher and a professional magician. His show featured live animals, lots of audience participation, and Dusty, a fantastic smoke-smelling dragon. Laughter erupted every time Al and Dusty interacted! Everyone had a great time, but more importantly, children learned many valuable fire safety lessons. In addition to this program, a musical fire safety puppet show was presented by museum master puppeteer Jerry Hallenbeck. I am sure this

show resulted in many kids singing the bouncy tune “stop, drop and roll” from the program for many days afterward! DJ Bill Williams from 98.5 The Cat Radio station was at the event spinning the prize wheel and playing great music! Members of the Columbia County Masons ran their ID clinic during the event, working tirelessly to make IDs throughout the day for families. The Hudson Fire Department was kind enough to support the event again this year. Children were thrilled to meet their hometown heroes and check out the awesome fire apparatus they brought to the Museum. The Columbia County Fire Chief’s Association brought their fire safety trailer to the event once again. Children went through the trailer nonstop all day. The end result was that those children are now much better equipped to face an emergency in the future. Sparky, the costumed canine, made an appearance at the event, much to the joy of the numerous little tots in the crowd. Face painting was also a very popular activity during the event, with many children choosing to show their Dalmatian Day spirit by having a paw print painted on their cheek! With so many activities going on and the infectious “smiles” of the many dalmatians at the museum for the day, it is no wonder that Dalmatian Day has grown into the biggest

Many of the Dalmatian owners who attended Dalmatian Day pose in front of the Hudson FD truck.


one-day fire safety and prevention event in Columbia County, perhaps in the state, with over 2,000 visitors attending the event this year! A special thank you to all the dalmatian owners, sponsors and volunteers that helped out with the event this year. I would especially like to thank the event’s major sponsor, Rivenburgh Insurance. Next year marks the 10th anniversary of Dalmatian Day at the Museum. We are already planning this milestone event, and it promises to be bigger and more “spotacular” than ever before! Mark your calendar now to join us for the Museum’s special tenth annual Dalmatian Day on October 8, 2016. The FASNY Museum of Fire-

fighting is America’s interactive museum of firefighting! Activities for families include creative play on selected fire engines, hands-on interactives, including the popular bucket brigade activity, a virtual fire engine driving activity, the new Jr. Firefighter Challenge and the Cabot/McCadam Discovery Room. The over sixty pieces of apparatus on display convey the proud story of the America’s firefighters. Whether you’re a firefighter, a student of history or a family looking for a fun and educational day trip, you will not want to miss this unique Museum. To learn more about the Museum, visit - JAMIE QUINN

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

Congrats Seymour FD Seymour, CT

December, 2015



December, 2015

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

We “Hear the Beep” in Cronomer Valley Town of Newburgh, NY. National Fire Prevention Week observance took place October 4-10 and the theme "Hear The Beep Where You Sleep" was practiced well by the Cronomer Valley Fire District in the Town of Newburgh. With planning stages begun this past June, firefighters from Cronomer Val- JUMP TO FILE# ley visited a 101515110 total of 2,083 students at five schools in their district on October 68. This year's fire prevention was once again managed by the department's captain, who visited each school in early June to obtain student census figures, which were a vital part of the extraordinary planning required for the success of Cronomer Valley's Program. With such a vast amount of students and schools to reach out to, fire departments from the surrounding area were tapped into action to assist on these days. In addition to Cronomer Valley, firefighters from the Orange Lake, Good-Will and Plattekill Fire Departments pitched in with manpower and equipment. As the first day arrived, Good-Will firefighters also assisted with their fire prevention trailer, hosted at the Fostertown Elementary School for the entire day. Good-Will Firefighter Amy Kosturik, whom is also a school teacher at Fostertown, oversaw the schedule of operations with the trailer assisted by her fellow firefighters. The first day also included a visit to the Gardnertown Elementary School. Students were evacuated when the alarms rang and were soon greeted by a dozen emergency vehicles sounding their sirens as they filled the front and rear parking lots. Soon after, students and teachers were given tours of the trucks and equipment followed by an assembly held for several hundred students. This response was repeated that afternoon at Fostertown Elementary School. Additionally, students had the chance to meet

Cronomer Valley's Mascot, Sparky the Fire Dog. On the second day, firefighters from Cronomer Valley visited Miss Cindy's Pre-K Nursery School, where children got to meet uniformed firefighters and were soon "wowed" by a visit from Sparky. Everyone in attendance received a fire prevention packet kit to help children understand the importance of our fire and safety message for both at school and at home. The final day brought everyone including firefighters from the Orange Lake and Plattekill Fire Departments, to visit Leptondale Christian Academy and the Leptondale Elementary School. Students there evacuated as well when the alarm bells rang, despite an automatic alarm "pull station" activation at nearby Gardnertown School, which pulled both an engine and a truck company away to respond to that incident. Several principals and teachers alike chimed in with much praise about this year's success of the fire prevention program. Although challenging and time consuming during the planning and logisitics stages, the entire operation went as smoothly as it could have. In the end, those efforts did not go unnoticed. The 2,083 students were the primary focus of Cronomer Valley this year and reaching out to each of them will make a significant impact today, tomorrow, and each day following. The Cronomer Valley Fire District Commissioners were instrumental in the success with their cooperation in working alongside this effort. Special recognition goes to Cronomer Valley's Chief Officers, Chief Richard Tuttle, Deputy Chief Juan Moreno, and Assistant Chief Rob Dorrmann for their assistance. Additionally, a great big thank you goes out to the chiefs, line officers, and firefighters from the Plattekill, Good-Will, and Orange Lake Fire Departments for their tireless efforts at these events. So until next year, remember, Hear The Beep, Where You Sleep! - PAUL HARRINGTON


Sparky is always a big hit with the Students.



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December, 2015

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December, 2015

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