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The New York Edition



MARCH, 2017



Yonkers, NY - A huge mill construction building that once housed the Alexander Smith carpet factory suffered extensive damage to a section of the building during a four-alarm fire on January 30th. - See full story on page 2

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Former Carpet Factory Burns in Yonkers Yonkers, NY - A huge mill construction building that once housed the Alexander Smith carpet factory suffered extensive damage to a section of the building during a four-alarm fire on January 30th. At around 3:45 A.M., a street sweeper called in and reported the fire in the approximate 250’x1000’, four-story, “L” shaped building located at 520 Nepperhan Avenue. Heavy fire was showing from the third and fourth floors of the building, at the “B/C” corner. The mill had been

JUMP TO FILE #013017124 converted to the “LoHo Artists Loft” and contained large amounts of paints, stains and many other substances used by the artists. A second, third and eventually a fourth-alarm was transmitted as flames dropped to the secondfloor. All on-duty Yonkers firefighters were soon at the scene battling the flames. Lines were stretched to all

floors, with three ladder pipes, one tower ladder, one deck gun and several large lines operating to hold the flames to that part of the structure. By dawn, most of the fire had been knocked down and companies started to be released. Other companies remained at the scene hitting hot spots. There were no reported injuries. The blaze is initially being considered suspicious, but the cause is yet to be determined. - BILL TOMPKINS

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Poughkeepsie FD Responds to Vacant House Fire Poughkeepsie, NY - On Friday, January 13th at 8:36 P.M., a Poughkeepsie Police patrol radioed in that there was a heavy smoke condition in the area of Harrison Street and Winnikee Avenue. The officer radioed back to confirm a working structure fire at 44 Harrison Street. All three engine companies made an aggressive interior attack on the fire which was located on the second-floor and in the attic, while the truck companies opened the residential structure up. The Poughkeepsie FD Group-2 firefighters were back in service at 10:45 P.M. Assisting at the scene were the Arlington and Fairview Fire Departments, along with the City of Poughkeepsie PD. The cause of the fire at the vacant residence is currently under investigation.


Newburgh, NY - On January 16th, the Town of Newburgh EMS had their 2017 officers sworn in. (L to R): Margret Maher-Board of Director, Alicia Copeland-Board of Director, Danny Vancewicz-Lt., Sue Ostrander-Board of Director, Joshua Wendell-Asst. Captain, Nick Zeprowski-Lt., Lilly Snyder-Secretary, Andrew Decker-Captain, Nyx Conklin-President and Betty Greene from the town board who swore the officers in. Not pictured are Rich Miller-Board of Director and Tom Wendell-Board of Director.

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March, 2017



March, 2017

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1st Responder News (ISSN 1525-1683) - New York edition - Vol. 18 No. 3 - 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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Transformer Fire Knocks Out Power in City's Business District Poughkeepsie, NY - On the morning of January 10th, the City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department responded to a report of smoke coming from a manhole on Catharine Street. First-due units found heavy smoke conditions and flames rising upward from the manhole. Firefighters were assisted at the scene by crews from Fairview and Arlington Fire Departments. The underground transformer fire knocked out power to the central business district, including the Dutchess County Office Building, the United States Post Office and several other government buildings. In addition to the fire departments, the Poughkeepsie PD and Mobile Life Support Services were present on-scene, as well as numerous crews from the utility company (Central Hudson Gas and Electric Company).

Spencerport Goes to Work on Basement Fire Spencerport, NY - On the evening of January 16th, the Spencerport FD (Monroe County) received several calls for a house on fire in the area of Great Ridge Dr. and Linda Lane. The first arriving chief found a split-level ranch structure, with smoke and fire showing from the "A" side. Companies went to work on the basement fire and had it knocked down within 20 minutes. Heavy smoke, heat and water damage made the residence unlivable. The Rochester chapter of the American Red Cross was assisting the two adult occupants with housing. The family's cat unfortunately did not survive. An investigation is being conducted by the Monroe County Fire Bureau into the cause of the fire. Emergency Enclosures was also on scene to secure the residence. According to Spencerport Chief Joe Beretta, assisting at the scene were the Hilton Fire Department and Ridge Road Fire District.

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March, 2017

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In memory of those who gave all

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

1st Responder Newspaper honors and remembers emergency responders lost in the line of duty

New York: Arthur "Art" Brault, 54 Rank: Fire Chief Incident Date: December 20, 2016 Death Date: December 20, 2016 Fire Department: Cumberland Head Volunteer Fire Department Initial Summary: After responding with his fire department to a structure fire earlier in the evening, Fire Chief Arthur "Art" Brault was discovered by his wife deceased in bed when he did not turn out for a second structure fire alarm call.

New Jersey: Louis Kelly, 70 Rank: Deputy Fire Coordinator Incident Date: December 8, 2016 Death Date: December 16, 2016 Fire Department: Union County Fire Office of Emergency Management Initial Summary:Deputy Fire Coordinator Kelly responded to a multi-alarm residential structure fire in Clark, NJ. He arrived on scene and assisted with operations at the Incident Command Post. While on scene, he suffered a medical emergency and went into cardiac arrest. He was immediately tended to by emergency responders, who performed CPR and utilized an AED to regain his pulse and breathing. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment, and while still hospitalized the following week, his condition deteriorated and he passed away. North Carolina: Donald “Reid” Key II, 31 Rank: Lieutenant Incident Date: December 25, 2016 Death Date: December 27, 2016 Fire Department: Whispering Pines Fire Rescue Department Initial Summary: On Sunday, December 25, at 1617 hours, Station 51 was dispatched to an Automatic Fire Alarm (AFA). Lieutenant Key responded as the Driver of 516 (Tanker); however,

was cancelled upon arrival by the Chief who had confirmed the AFA was accidental and no assistance was needed. Upon returning to the station, Lieutenant Key assisted several fellow firefighters with washing, cleaning equipment, repacking hose on 511 (returning from 2nd alarm structure fire). Later that evening after returning home, Lieutenant Key began experiencing a headache. The next morning (12/26/2016), the headache worsened, at which time Key’s wife drove him to Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, NC. After being evaluated, Lieutenant Key was airlifted to UNC-Chapel Hill Hospital where he arrived midday (12/26/2016). He passed away at approximately 1345 hours on 12/27/2016. The nature and cause of fatal injury are still to be reported.

Michigan: Fred A. Newton, Sr., 66 Rank: Captain Incident Date: December 27, 2016 Death Date: December 27, 2016 Fire Department: Somerset Township Fire Department & EMS Initial Summary: While preparing to leave the fire station upon completion of his shift which included responses to three emergency incidents, Captain Newton went out to the station parking lot to start and warm his car. At 0815hrs, as other members of the fire department arrived at the station, they noticed Newton was in his car and had perhaps fallen asleep while the vehicle was still running. When a firefighter went outside and knocked on a window of the vehicle there was no response. He then opened the door and noticed Captain Newton was not breathing. Emergency dispatch was notified and the EMS crew at the station immediately began to render assistance, including ALS procedures, and transported Newton to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

March, 2017


Vacant House Burns in the City of Troy Troy, NY - At approximately 2:25 P.M. on January 9th, the Rensselaer County 911 center took multiple calls for a structure fire in the City of Troy at 443 10th Street. The heavy black smoke from the fire could be seen from miles away in the after- JUMP TO FILE# 010917144 noon blue sky. City of Troy Engine-4 arrived on the scene within one-minute of the call and encountered heavy fire conditions blowing from the front of a two-story, vacant building. The City of Troy battalion chief called for the second-alarm, bringing additional engine and truck companies to the scene to help bring the fire under control. The Engine-4 crew stretched a hand line to the second-floor of the building and went to work, knocking down the heavy

fire within minutes. The house next door to the fire building has been boarded up and vacant since the Summer of 2016 after it had also caught fire. Engine-4's district is one of the busiest districts in the City of Troy for house fires, making them an essential engine for the safety of the city's residents. The building sustained heavy damage to the second-floor and roof. The freezing cold temperatures that day also reeked havoc on the scene, as water would freeze when it hit the ground, creating a sheet of ice and slippery conditions for firefighters working on the scene. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the NYS Department of Homeland Security's Office of Fire Prevention and Control. No firefighters or civilians were injured during the incident.. - JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER

City of Troy firefighters hitting hot spots in the vacant home.



A Troy firefighter takes a bucket of water to a pile of trash burning outside of the home.



March, 2017

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


Vails Gate FD Responds to Chimney Fire New Windsor, NY - The Vails Gate FD was dispatched to a reported chimney fire on February 1st located at 11 Park Hill Drive. As crews arrived, smoke was seen coming from the chimney and roof area of the house. Firefighters used hand ladders and hand lines to knock down the fire. The New Windsor Police and EMS were also at the scene.


Mount Vernon Crews Battle Vacant House Fire

Mount Vernon, NY - During the early morning hours of Sunday, January 22nd, Mount Vernon Fire Companies were toned out to South 9th Avenue at West Sanford Boulevard for a reported structure fire. While responding, dispatchers advised units that they were receiving multiple calls. Battalion arrived on-scene to find heavy fire in a two-story, private dwelling. The house appeared to be vacant, so the fire was automatically made an outside operation. Two ladder pipes and five hand-lines were put into operation. The fire was darkened down but continued to smolder until it was placed under control with an approximate four-hour duration.

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Lakeville Man Dies After Becoming Trapped in Rail Car

Lakeville, NY - A 50-year-old Scottsville man was killed Wednesday, January 25th around 10:20 A.M. on the Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad tracks near Stone Hill Road after being buried by fertilizer in a rail car while attempting to clear a jam in an offloading chute. The man's coworkers from Crop Production Services, as well as employees of nearby Smith Lumber, tried unsuccessfully to free him prior to the arrival of units from Lakeville and Livonia Fire/EMS. Additional resources requested brought Rochester F.D. Rescue 11, Engine-13, Special Operations, Haz-Mat-1, Monroe County Special Operations and York F.D. to the scene. East Avon F.D. provided a stand-by crew. A vacuum truck from Monroe County was also used in the recovery effort, which lasted for serveral hours into the late afternoon. Investigation into the incident was ongoing by the Livingston County Sheriff's Office.

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Social Officers (1st Row, L to R): James Cawein Jr.-Vice President, Victor Pignataro-Secretary, Ezdra Valentin-Director, Dale Green-Director/Social Chairman, Gary Fox-Financial Secretary/Chaplain, Bill Moore-Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners. (2nd Row, L to R): Gary Cooper-Director, Michael Snyder-President, Connor Noonan-Director and Scott Lindemann-Treasurer.


Fire Police Officers (L to R): Ken Klejbuk-Treasurer, Robert Sutherland-Captain, Jamie Jackson-2nd Lieutenant, Gary Cooper-1st Lieutenant and William Moore-Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners.

Otterkill Engine Co. #1 Installs Officers for 2017

Hamptonburgh, NY - On January 21st, Otterkill Engine Co. #1 held their 2017 Installation of Officers ceremony in Campbell Hall. The ceremony was conducted by Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners, William Moore.


Teenager Escapes Unharmed from Richmond House Fire

Richmond, NY - On Monday, January 9th at approximately 4:37 P.M., Honeoye-Richmond and Bristol firefighters were dispatched on a structure fire assignment to 4695 County Road-33 in the Town of Richmond. Upon arrival, fire units found a working fire in a two-story home. A 13year-old male was able to escape the fire unharmed. Mutual Aid was requested to the scene for tankers from East Bloomfield, West Bloomfield and Hemlock. An RIT team from Victor was also requested. The American Red Cross responded to assist the five residents. Unfortunately, the family's dog was lost in the blaze. The fire is believed to have originated in the kitchen and the exact cause was under investigation by Ontario County Emergency Management.


March, 2017

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

FIREFIGHTER PROFILES If you have photos you would like to see in our “Firefighter Profiles” feature, please upload them on our website, or email them to

Barry Marshall joined the New Windsor FD, located in New York, on March 18, 1974 which coincidently, is also his birthday. He served the residents of the New Windsor FD and Quassaick Bridge Fire District faithfully, for 42-anda-half years. As a young firefighter, Barry quickly rose through the ranks in the FD. He held all company and line officer positions, including the position of Fire Chief from 1987 until 1989. He learned from the best in the New Windsor FD, crediting many past chiefs for giving him pointers. The members were always quick to say "you and your men did a great job," which helped to create many very close friendships, even still today as we speak. Barry was also very active in the Orange County Volunteer Firemen's Association and as a result, was approved by his department to seek the open position of 5th Vice President of the OCVFA in 2002. Barry said that getting elected was great. Many members in his department helped out as he went through the chairs until becoming President in 2007, which was a very memorable year for him. He made a lot of friends around the county and the Hudson Valley during his term. Barry went on to serve as President of the Orange County Fire District for two years in 2011 and 2012, and then President of the Or-

ange County Fire Chiefs Association in 2012 and 2013. While attending many meetings throughout the state, he again ran for the position of Fire Chief and was elected in 1999. But the best was still yet to come for Barry! He became Fire Commissioner of the Quassaick Bridge Fire District, which he served faithfully for 26-and-a-half years. He learned a lot from past chiefs who also ran and served as commissioners during this time. He also went on to become Chairman of the Board twice during his tenure. It goes without saying that joining the fire department is one of the best things you can do for your community. Once Barry joined, he never looked back. In addition to volunteering at the FD, he also managed to work for the NYS Department of Corrections while also serving as an active riding member with the Town of New Windsor Volunteer Ambulance Corp., which he served for 25 years. He did all of this while also raising a family. Barry retired on July 31, 2016 after serving the residents of the Town of New Windsor for so many years. Although he misses everyone back in New York, he's very much enjoying his retirement down in Largo, Florida where he officially relocated on August 8, 2016 with his wife, Mary Ann Marshall, who had also recently retired.

Firefighters on-scene of the structure fire in Waterford.


Store Smoking Meat Causes Fire in Waterford Waterford, NY - Firefighters made quick work of a fire on Wednesday, January 25th at a Waterford business. Employees of Philips Hardware located at 42 Saratoga Avenue called 911 after their store started filling with smoke. The first chief to arrive found a heavy smoke condition and immediately called for Mutual Aid. Crews traced the problem to a next door business, Henry's Meats, which had actually closed a few weeks earlier. F.B. Peck Hose Company Assistant Chief Sean

JUMP TO FILE #012717101 Gilbert said firefighters pulled a hand-line and cut a vent hole in the roof as they tried to determine what exactly they had. Once inside of Henry's Meats, crews found that the smoker pipe had burned through and started a small fire in the ceiling. According to Assistant Chief Gilbert, "The sprinkler system knocked down the majority of the fire, and the guys took care of the rest." Gilbert also

said that although the store closed several weeks earlier, the employees were still using the smoker and had been there that morning smoking some meat. No injuries were reported and damage sustained was minimum. Authorities had a neighboring convenience store shut off its gas pumps as a precaution, but no problems were reported. Boght and Halfmoon-Waterford assisted at the scene with Mechanicville providing a cover crew for Waterford. - MIKE CAREY


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

Retired Fire Chief Barry Marshall.



Dunkirk, NY - On January 24th, Engine-1 from the City Of Dunkirk Fire Department was dispatched to Lakeshore Drive West for an odor investigation.

March, 2017

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March, 2017

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Newburgh Driver Injured After Crashing Car into Tree Newburgh, NY - The Cronomer Valley FD was dispatched for a reported vehicle versus tree on January 25th on State Route-32, located in the area of Sarvis Lane. Upon arrival, crews found one vehicle involved that had ran off the road and crashed into a tree. One person was transported to Saint Luke's Hospital by Town of Newburgh EMS crews. The Town of Newburgh Police were investigating the cause of the accident.

Past Roosevelt F.D. Assistant Chief Roy Hall.


Roosevelt Assistant Chief Roy Hall Retires After 48-Years of Service Hyde Park, NY - The Roosevelt Fire Department would like to thank past Assistant Chief Roy Hall for the last 15-years of service on the Chief Staff. They would also like to recognize his 48-years of hard work and dedication to the Roosevelt Fire District. Enjoy your retirement Chief!

Engine-459 and Truck-3 take the front of the building on Sand Creek Road.


Close Call at Working House Fire in West Albany Fire District Colonie, NY - The West Albany Fire Department along with Shaker Road, Fuller Road and a FAST team from the Colonie Village Fire Company, were toned out on January 7th for a reported structure fire at 78 Sand Creek Road in the West AlJUMP TO FILE# bany fire district. 010717105 The first arriving chief had heavy fire blowing from the back second-story area of the home and called for the Working Fire. Since the West Albany Fire Station was located only about 1500-feet down the road, firefighters were able to respond very quickly; however, there was a hidden danger to the home. The Chief reported that he had a two-story, wood frame structure, with heavy fire and smoke coming from the "Charlie" side of the building. Firefighters made entry to search the home and encountered a heavy fire condition on the secondfloor with heavy smoke banked down in a room. As firefighters quickly conducted a primary search to make sure everyone (including pets) were out of the residence, Truck-3 from Fuller Road arrived on the scene and quickly set up the truck company. Crews went to the second-floor of the home, took out a window and sounded what they thought was a floor, but it was actually a 12-inch ledge inside of the window. As firefighters moved their tool forward and sounded the secondfloor, the tool dropped out from underneath them and they quickly realized that what they thought was a second-floor was actually not. The firefighters then radioed Command and made him aware of the situation. Truck-3's crew stood-by in the buck while the engine company

The window with ledge, showing the drop.

went to work. Firefighters brought a hand-line inside to the second-floor where the heavy fire was and quickly knocked it down, confirming it as under control within 10-minutes. Crews inside conducted heavy overhaul on the second-floor, making sure the fire did not extend. The home sustained substantial damage but was not a total loss. No firefighters were injured and the fire is currently under investigation by the Town of Colonie's fire services. All


of the residents, including their pets, were able to make it out uninjured. Chief Sullivan of the West Albany Fire Department stated that this could have been a much worse situation if firefighters didn't sound the floor when they were making entry. This incident is a reminder for firefighters to always check the floor and extend their tool further to make sure that things are what they appear to be. - JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

It’s Difficult EMS ISSUE


Operating an EMS agency isn’t an easy task, but when someone dials 911 when a loved one is ill, they expect help to arrive ASAP. Many agencies manage to accomplish the expectations, but it is getting more and more difficult. According to the January 2017 SEMSCO conference call meeting, some of the biggest challenges facing EMS in New York State include an aging population, chronic health epidemics such as obesity, longer travel times ambulance to scene to hospital, and a lack of public awareness. Areas highly dependent on Medicaid funding are finding that payments are less than their actual costs. Newer protocols and technologies, while designed to provide better outcomes, also bring higher training costs and investment in time, the purchase of expensive equipment, local tax caps and lack of community financial support caused by the lack of knowledge of how EMS works. The staffing of ambulances also presents problems. EMS is not known for its high earnings of paid personnel. There is a high turnover rate as members move on to higher paying positions. Volunteer agencies have the added problems of providing incentive for potential members to join, asking for members to come in on their own time for additional training, and also maintaining an adequate volunteer base while personal lives seem to just get busier. According to this conference, the average age of an EMS responder currently in NYS is 40years and older (both paid and volunteer services), and there are not enough active providers. Often, new members come in enthralled with the idea of lights

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and sirens, CPR saves, delivering babies, action and excitement, and playing the part of the hero; most of these scenarios are used in recruitment videos, posters and other handouts. Members that join for the action are often discouraged when many calls are not much more than simple transports, fall down and go bump, and/or RMAs when a new parent is nervous about the baby’s first cold. Most EMS calls are not flying down the highway, running into the face of danger kind of adrenaline rushes. Among the recommendations made to affect positive changes in EMS are increasing public awareness about funding, offering (and being able to afford) competitive salaries, working with the hospitals to recognize the value of pre-hospital care, encouraging volun-

teerism (which is comparatively low in NYS), and agencies joining forces to offer employees better benefits. There were also discussions about the increasing demands of provider certification, training of future EMS leaders, and improving the overall experience of the healthcare provider. The report summed up NYS EMS Leadership Themes, “The EMS Community in NYS needs to develop the motivation to engage the broader communities in understanding EMS, expressing our vulnerabilities and potential, engaging others in solutions, and making sure broader constituencies see the value in what we have to offer and the risk of not taking a piece of the responsibility for our future success.”

March, 2017


COMMAND VEHICLES If your Department has photos you would like to see in our “Command Vehicles” feature, please upload them on our website, or email them to

Chief-15 of the Accord Fire District uses this Chevrolet.



March, 2017

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

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Marijuana Grow Operation Found During House Fire in New Windsor

New Windsor, NY - The Vails Gate FD was dispatched to a structure fire on January 10th around 11:00 A.M., located at 616 Union Avenue. Upon arrival, heavy fire and smoke was found coming from the rear of the residence. Firefighters used hand-lines and ladders to knock the fire down. One person was transported to Saint Luke's Hospital by New Windsor EMS after sustaining heavy burns to most of his body. After checking the scene, a marijuana grow operation was found in the lower level of the house. The Town of New Windsor Police were at the scene investigating. Additional units that were called in to assist included the Newburgh, Cornwall, Good Will and New Windsor Fire Departments. Central Hudson was also called in for a power cut.

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


Afternoon Blaze in West Sand Lake

Sand Lake, NY - The West Sand Lake, Averill Park and Best Luther Fire Department responded to 743 Best Road for a reported structure fire on January 7th. The first arriving chief on-scene called a Signal-30 for a heavily involved structure. The first arriving engine on-scene pulled multiple hand lines and set up a defense of operation. Heavy black smoke filled the air over the Town of West Sand Lake. Command requested tankers to the scene from Hoags Corners and East Schodack, along with one engine for fill station operation. Firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control in about one hour. Multiple mutual aid companies from Southern Rensselaer County covered multiple departments on-scene during the incident. The building was a total loss and fire investigators are currently looking into the cause of the blaze.

BUDDY SHOTS If you have photos you would like to see in our “Buddy Shots� feature, please upload them on our website, or email them to


Colonie, NY - Shaker Road Deputy Chief O'Connor and West Albany Lieutenant Peter Murray III.

March, 2017



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March, 2017


1st Responder Newspape er features EMERGENCY SERVICES RELA ATED TATTOOS

NYS Senator Terrence Murphy wants to expand medical coverage for volunteers.


NYS Senators Fight for Expanded Volunteer Health Coverage Spelter, WV - Trevor Vance is a 19-year-old firefighter from West Virginia who has been serving his community since he was just 15-years-old. He is currently a firefighter at Spelter Volunteer Fire Department in Spelter, West Virginia and decided to get this tattoo done approximately two years ago. When asked what inspired him to get the tattoo, he said "being a firefighter is a brotherhood, so I thought to myself, why not get a tattoo that will be there forever and remind me of what I have been through and who I've been through it with." Trevor also said that the tattoo lets him show off what he's so proud of doing.

Would you like your emergency services related tattoo featured here? Contact Lindsey at



Fire Fighting was actually a sport at the 1900 Olympics in Paris.

Albany, NY – Running headfirst into a burning building can be hazardous enough, but volunteer firefighters who are fighting debilitating illnesses have found that battling their health crisis' with limited medical coverage can be just as daunting. In the interest of taking care of the people who serve our community, Senators Terrence Murphy and Joseph Griffo have co-sponsored legislation to further protect the health of volunteer firefighters when they become sick due to their hazardous line of work. The bill, (S1411 ) passed the Senate on January 24th and expands the benefits available to volunteer firefighters when they contract certain illnesses and cancers while serving the community. “There has been very little attention given to the heroic volunteer firefighters who risk their lives to help protect us,” said Senator Murphy. “Whether paid or volunteer, our brave firefighters face occupational and health risks when coming to our rescue. They suffer just as much when they are struck down by a dev-

JUMP TO FILE #012617122 astating illness. We have to do the right thing by recognizing their selfless devotion to our communities and do all we can to assist them when they need a helping hand to get well.” Senator Griffo said, “It's heartbreaking to see these volunteer firefighters and their families experience so much suffering while coping with cancer after all they have sacrificed to protect our homes and lives from devastating fires. These selfless men and women in our communities volunteer in the fire service for all the right reasons, because they want to keep us safe, without ever imagining the price they may pay years later after being exposed to such toxic substances." Overexposure to smoke increases the risk of contracting cancer of the lungs, but may also cause cancer in an individual’s esophagus, stomach, blood, intestines and even

the brain. A National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study suggests that firefighters are at higher risk of cancers of the digestive, oral, respiratory and urinary systems when compared to the rest of the general population, citing exposure to asbestos as a possible factor. This legislation expands the existing coverage available under the Volunteer Firefighters Benefit Law to include cancer of the digestive, hematological, lymphatic, urinary, prostate, neurological, breast and reproductive systems, as well as melanoma. Senator Terrence Murphy represents the 40th NYS Senate district which covers portions of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties. NYS Senator Joseph Griffo represents the 47th Senate district which includes portions of Oneida, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. The bill has been sent to the Assembly. - TODD BENDER

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March, 2017

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

Powerful 9/11 Exhibits Shown at NYS Museum Albany, NY - The NYS Museum at 222 Madison Avenue in Albany has an exhibit titled "The World Trade Center Rescue Response Recovery" and details the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the twin towers, as well as the efforts involved in the days and weeks after the JUMP TO FILE# planes struck. 012317122 FDNY's Engine Company-6 was first due at the scene with their 1994 Seagrave pumper and is the centerpiece of the "rescue" portion of the display. On 9/11, Engine Company-6 set up on West Street under a pedestrian bridge. The specially engineered apparatus had a three-stage waterous pump that produced 500-GPM at 700-PSI. The engine had the ability to connect to the standpipes at the towers and pump water all the way up to the 110th-floor. The crew connected to the hydrant and then to the standpipe connections. When Tower-1 collapsed, the bridge collapsed on top of the engine. It also suffered fire damage to the cab. Engine-6 was one of 29 Seagrave engines that were destroyed that fateful day. The "rescue" display tells the events of 9/11 through the eyes of Engine Company-6, which lost four firefighters that day; Lt. Thomas O'Hagan, Firefighter Thomas P. Holohan, Firefighter Paul Beyer and Firefighter William "Billy" Johnston. Several artifacts, such as an SCBA, helmet, hose and others are viewable, but the centerpiece is the charred and partially crushed Engine-6. The exhibit also has "recovery" and "response" displays. The "recovery" display provides visitors with an insight into the operations that took place at Fresh Kills Landfill where 1.8-million-tons of debris were painstakingly sorted in an effort to provide closure to families that lost loved ones that day. The "response" portion displays memorial flags, photographs and other items that were created and displayed not only by New Yorkers, but also by people around the world that were grieving simultaneously. A new addition to the exhibit is the "World Trade Center Survivors" section, which tells the stories of three of the estimated 13,000 to 15,000 survivors that escaped death at Ground Zero on 9/11. The NYS Museum is open Tues. - Sun. from 9:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. More information can be found by visiting their website at - TODD BENDER

FDNY Engine-6 on display.

The mangled pump panel of Engine-6.




Assignment board from the Engine-6 house at 49 Beekman Street in NYC.

Visit us on the web!

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March, 2017

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Early Morning Structure Fire in Newburgh Newburgh, NY - On January 20th at 3:00 A.M., Orange Lake Engine Company was called out to a reported structure fire at 84 Lakeside Road. Winona Lake Engine Company was also called to the scene to assist. Multiple lines were used to knock down the fire. The cause is currently under investigation.


Mobile Home Fire in Lakeville Lakeville, NY - On Saturday, January 21st around 5:00 A.M., Lakeville, Livonia and Hemlock firefighters were dispatched to a trailer fire at 30 Creekview Circle in the Willow Cove mobile home park. The East Avon F.D. responded as the FAST team. The fire was brought quickly under control and there were no injuries. Officials from Livingston County were investigating the cause.

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

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March, 2017

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

Sauquoit EMT Joe Paciello Recognized for Life-Saving Actions Sauquoit, NY - On September 21, 2016 an accident occurred on State Route-51 in Cedarville that changed the lives of all those involved. In the Ilion Gorge where the accident occurred, there is little to no cell phone service or radio communication available. This is where 20-year-old JUMP TO FILE# Luke Cullinan 012617113 crashed his motorcycle, completely mangling his right leg. Two people passing by stopped to help when they saw the crash, but were not trained in EMS, so they began attempting to stop other passerby to call for help. After approximately five-minutes, they were able to find someone who said that they would go for help. That person was Joey Bass, who arrived at the Cedarville Fire Department at 11:01 P.M., telling Chief Callahan that there was a motorcycle crash in the gorge, located about threemiles away from the fire station. Chief Callahan put a crew on Engine-2 and proceeded to the accident with Joe Paciello as the EMT in charge. Upon arrival at 11:05 P.M., EMT Assistant Chief Joe Paciello took over patient care and imme-

diately told Commanding Officer Chief Callahan that he needed a helicopter launched right away. Due to the poor signal service in the gorge, the only radio communication available had to be sent from the engine. With limited medical supplies on the engine, EMT Joe Paciello was able to immobilize the patient's leg and control the bleeding. A Movac ambulance was dispatched to the scene and arrived at 11:11 P.M., with a second ambulance arriving at 11:24 P.M. The severely injured patient was then transported by Movac at 11:28 P.M. to the landing zone at Cedarville Fire Station, with EMT Joe Paciello still providing patient care. The Movac ambulance arrived at the landing zone at 11:33 P.M., and at 11:41 P.M., the patient was transferred by Mercy Flight Central to SUNY Upstate University Hospital. There, Luke Cullinan would undergo a total of seven surgeries to repair the damage to his leg. He would remain in the hospital for another 39 days after the accident while he healed. "In my years as an EMT and as Fire Chief, I would say that the outcome for Luke would have been critical if EMT Joe Paciello was not there on that day," said Sauquoit Fire Co. Chief Brian

Callahan. EMT Joe Paciello was recently recognized and for his lifesaving efforts during the Sauquoit Fire Company's 2017 Installation Banquet held on January 21st, exactly four-months after the motorcycle accident. Receiving two awards and recognition that evening was kept as a complete surprise for Joe, as was the attendance of Luke Cullinan and his family, as well as NYS Legislator Brian Miller. During the banquet, a very humble Joe Paciello was presented with the “Meritorious Award,”an award that had not been given since 1997. Joe is the fifth person to receive the award since it’s inception in 1978. A second award was also given, the “Luke Cullinan EMS Trauma Award,” for the first time ever. Luke’s family purchased the plaque for the Sauquoit Fire Company station, which can be added to if an incident similar to Luke’s ever happens again. Congratulations EMT Assistant Chief Joe Paciello, you deserve all the recognition in the world for your heroic and life-saving actions that day! - CHIEF BRIAN CALLIHAN


(L to R): Luke Cullinan, EMT Joe Paciello and Chief Brian Callahan holding the awards during the banquet.

(L to R): Luke's brother Max, his mother Arlene Sczepanski, EMT Joe Paciello, Luke Cullinan, Chief Brian Callahan and Luke's stepfather Jeff Sczepanski.


Serving g those who se erve us.

87 77-541-HERO

Luke Cullinan with Chief Brian Callahan.


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1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

To see your Drills in the newspaper upload them on our website or email them to

New Paltz, NY - The New Paltz Fire Dept. held extrication training at Station #2 on January 8th.


Serious Head-On MVA in New Windsor New Windsor, NY - The Vails Gate FD was dispatched on the morning of January 19th at approximately 8:30 A.M. for a serious, head-on MVA on Route-747 in New Windsor. Upon arrival, crews found a vehicle and a tractor-trailer that crashed into each other head-on. The Vails Gate FD extricated one person from the vehicle. Two people were transported to Saint Luke's Hospital by New Windsor EMS. The NYS Police and members of the Commerical Vehicle Enforcement Unit were on-scene to examine the tractor-trailer. The New Windsor Police were also on-scene to investigate the cause of the accident. Orange County HAZMAT was requested to respond for a fuel leak coming from the tractor-trailer. RALPH SCANDARIATO



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1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

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March, 2017

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY



Putnam County, NY - Garrison EMS recently took delivery of a new 2017 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor package that they will use as a BLS First Response vehicle. This will be an addition to the two ambulances they already have in service. Garrison EMS is mixed with paid EMTs and volunteer members.


Glens Falls, NY - The West Glens Falls Volunteer Fire Company is proud to announce the delivery of Engine-Rescue 311 (ER-311). Engine-Rescue 311 is a 2016 Spartan Gladiator and will be firstdue for MVAs in the West Glens Falls protection district.

PATCH OF THE MONTH To see your Patch of the Month in the newspaper upload them on our website or email them to


Heavy Fire Consumes Garage in Newburgh


The Ballston Spa Fire Department is located in Saratoga County, New York.

Newburgh, NY - The Winona Lake and Dan Leghorn Engine Companies were dispatched to a garage fire at 239 South Plank Road on January 9th. Upon arrival, heavy fire and smoke conditions were found inside a garage. Winona Lake and Dan Leghorn firefighters used hand-lines to knock down the fire. Hand ladders were also used to vent the roof. The Town of Newburgh Police were at the scene for traffic control, along with 36-13 and Town of Newburgh Police Investigator Vincent Spampinto. The cause of the fire is being investigated. Good Will FD stoodby at Winona Lake quarters during the incident.

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

March, 2017



Phone: (203) 445 6536 • Built by firefighters, for firefighters



March, 2017

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Firefighters Extricate Driver from MVA in Lakeville

Lakeville, NY - On Thursday, January 12th at 1:36 A.M., Town of Livonia Fire Departments (Livonia, Hemlock and Lakeville), as well as Livonia EMS were dispatched to an MVA with entrapment on Big Tree Road, located east of East Lake Road. Units arrived on location and found a vehicle over a guardrail and into a pole. The driver of the vehicle was extricated by firefighters and transported to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. The cause of the crash was being investigated by the Livingston County Sheriff's office.



Our philosophy is simple: To provide you with the great acts and expert guidance you need to make your next fundraising event a memorable one. “The services of Johnny Lampert and Headline Entertainment has allowed the Scotland Volunteer Fire Department to become the leader in comedy events in the eastern Connecticut area. Johnny has provided outstanding talent for our comedy nights and has gone above and beyond to ensure that our fundraisers are successful.”

- Scotland Volunteer Fire Dept, Scotland, CT “Thanks again for a great show. Both acts were great and everyone had a fantastic night. Everyone raved about what a funny show and great time that they had.”

- Manville PBA, Manville, NJ “I have to say, this was one of the best shows we have ever had! Those 3 comics were just amazing. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and had nothing but great things to say!” - Liberty Corner Fire Dept, Liberty Corner, NJ “The acts you sent were great. Our fundraiser was a big hit and everyone loved them! Thank you!” - Vails Gate Fire Dept, Vails Gate, NY “Thanks again for providing the outstanding entertainment for our fundraiser last week. I am sure you will be pleased to learn that the event raised tens of thousands of dollars! We really appreciate your help in getting us there.” WILLIAM MURRAY

Quick Response by Firefighters Saves House in New Paltz New Paltz, NY - On January 15th, the New Paltz Fire Dept. was dispatched to a reported vehicle fire. Upon arrival, crews found a van fully engulfed in flames and parked approximately 10-feet from the rear entry of a house. A quick response enabled a fast knock down of the fire, with no damage to the house. There were no injuries reported.

- Weston Vol. Fire Dept, Weston, CT

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March, 2017

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Monroe County Crews Battle House Fire in Rush Monroe County, NY - On January 16th at 11:06 A.M., the Rush FD responded to 2192 Rush-Mendon Road for a reported working house fire. Upon arrival, units found flames coming from the left, front and right side windows, as well as the attic peak. Cap- JUMP TO FILE# tain Mike Terzo Jr. 011717109 was the first officer on the scene and declared a working fire with everyone out. Automatic mutual aid was started at the same time Rush FD was toned out. A total of 23 Rush firefighters and four explorers responded, along with crews from Henrietta, Honeoye Falls, Mendon, East Avon and Henrietta Ambulance. Scottsville and Avon filled in. The fire was under control within 35-minutes, but not before major fire damage was done to the front half of the home, in addition to heat and smoke damage to the rest. No injuries were reported. The Rush FD Ladies Aux. provided food and drinks for the firefighters. Monroe Co. Fire Investigators will be investigating the cause. - RUSH FD



School Bus Slides off Embankment and Overturns in Troy

Troy, NY - Just after 4:00 P.M. on January 17th, units were dispatched for a reported MVA involving a school bus. Freezing rain created slippery road conditions which caused the bus to crash after sliding down one of the steepest hills in Troy. The bus driver stated that she was attempting to come down the hill when the bus slid and crashed into a car before rolling onto its side. First arriving units found the driver of the bus, one bus monitor and one student had self-extricated from the bus and only minor injuries were reported. The scene was cleaned up just before 5:00 P.M. after crews from Dawson's Towing and Recovery righted the bus and towed the vehicle away. Rush hour traffic was affected, but traffic was back to a normal flow by 5:30 P.M.

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

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March, 2017

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

IN SERVICE If you have photos you would like to see in our In Service feature, please upload them on our website or email them to


Mattituck, NY - The Mattituck Fire Dept. operates this 2016 Pierce Velocity Heavy Rescue as Rescue-2.


Newburgh Crews Respond to Structure Fire on Monkey Road Newburgh, NY - On January 9th, the Winona Lake and Orange Lake Engine Companies were called out to a reported structure fire at 52 Monkey Road. Winona Lake crews laid in 500feet of four-inch lines to feed Orange Lake. No injuries were reported and the fire is under investigation.


Vails Gate, NY - The Vails Gate Fire District operates this 2009 Pierce Velocity 1500/300/100' Tower Ladder.

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ANTIQUE APPARATUS If you have photos for Antique Apparatus please upload them on our website, or email them to

1942 American-LaFrance-Foamite Corporation JO series that introduced hydraulically operated steel ladders which replaced the spring-raised wooden ladders. TODD BENDER

Does Social Media Belong in Today’s Fire Service? Today, almost everyone has a smart phone and endless opportunities to record life in real time, the good and the bad. Fire departments must now embrace the social media world in which we live. But what role does social media play in the fire service? Most fire departments now have an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) or SOG (Standard Operating Guideline) addressing social media. But is social media helping or hurting your department? Herein lies the problem. Does the SOP or SOG truly guide the fire service to use social media to their advantage? Public Relations is something the fire service has definitely not mastered. As a rookie volunteer firefighter in the early 90’s, one of the first things stressed to me was “Never take any pictures because you will end up in court." The truth is, I would end up in court with or without the pictures and it would be much more difficult to convey accuracy without pictures to support and recreate the scene. Several departments have now used social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, to propel their departments to a new level. This allows fire departments the ability to reach a new generation of firefighters because the new generation is definitely connected by technology and social media. Some departments have even utilized social media to enlist community support to obtain new apparatus, afford pay raises, and seek potential new personnel. Social media has also heightened public awareness of the dangers involved with firefighting and virtually taken viewers into the fire via social media. Scott Ziegler, a firefighter with Detroit Fire Department, wore a helmet cam for a year while employed as a firefighter with Highland Park, Michigan Fire Department. Scott then appeared on national news, giving the nation a glimpse into the lifethreatening experiences a firefighter faces every day. Am I implying that all social media, or even news media coverage is good? Absolutely not! The key is to train staff about social media etiquette and how to embrace the photographers on the side lines of the scene or during an incident. Yes, you read that correctly; “photographers on the side lines". I recently traveled to California to experience fire photography as a fire chaser, known as buffing. I had the honor of working side by side with two Southern California fire photographers, Tod Sudmeier (@epn564) and Brandy Carlos (@epn106). I was amazed at how many fire departments not only welcomed our presence, but they actually encouraged us to get close to the action. Of course, we followed the safety rules outlined by each fire de-


Chief Joel Miller, Federal Government Fire Chief, fire department social media consultant and owner of the world’s largest Fire Instagram page (@chief_miller).

partment, such as wearing wildland firefighting gear as we stood on the front lines, streaming live footage via Periscope and Facebook Live to hundreds, even thousands of viewers around the world. We each shared awesome pictures capturing the action in real time on some of the world’s largest fire service based social media sites. Social media has even helped the fire service recruit some of the best candidates for the job simply due to the awareness and visibility, triggering an increase in applicants. Los Angeles County, Los Angeles City and Cal Fire are some of the most recognizable departments in the world, partially due to social media and dedicated fire photographers. Social media also raises community awareness of the great service their tax dollars are paying for. Shortly after my California experience, again with California fire photographers Tod Sudmeier (@epn564) and Brandy Carlos (@epn106), we traveled to Detroit, Michigan. Detroit is one of the country’s most deprived cities and busiest fire departments. They are confronted with a high number of arson related fires. I found that the Battalion Chief would be the one to set the temperature as to how well received the fire photographers were on scene. I made calls where the Battalion Chief himself would be snapping shots as much as he could. Most Battalion Chiefs welcomed us as we followed their rules and stayed out of harm’s way. Real-time live broadcast from DFD went out around the world via social media. The world saw top notch firefighters doing an amazing job, despite the struggles

their department has experienced in the way of equipment and manpower. We later responded to a call with DFD where the Battalion Chief was anti-fire photographer and anti-social media. As one photographer was streaming live to viewers world-wide (while obeying all the rules and respecting the firefighters on scene from a safe distance outside the hotzone), the Battalion Chief began yelling at him. The photographer, a retired firefighter himself, chose to cut the live feed as to not reflect negatively on the fire department. After all, it was the firefighters that we were there to represent and they deserve the utmost respect. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident and the photographer has felt it necessary to cut live feed on other occasions at different locations. Realistically, we live in a world where everyone is at the mercy of social media. Fire departments need to embrace the professional fire photographers, as their goal of honoring the fire service is the one true defense guarding fire departments from the negative effects social media can bring. Your department can either stand by and become a casualty of social media, or your department can choose to prepare staff and public relation officers on how to use social media to propel your department to the next level. Social media is here to stay. I encourage each of you to choose a direction and develop a plan for the role social media will play in the success of your department. The choice is yours, make it a good one! - CHIEF JOEL MILLER

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

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March, 2017

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

Two Transported to Hospital Following MVA in Norwich Norwich, NY - Shortly after 1:00 P.M. on Saturday, January 28th, the Norwich Fire Department was called to the area of 920 County Road-33 in the Town of Norwich for a reported Motor Vehicle Accident. Upon arrival, crews found two JUMP TO FILE# vehicles involved in 012817103 a head-on collision, with one vehicle on its side. Both occupants had already exited their vehicles with assistance from a passerby. Norwich Engine-4 was first-due and pulled a line for standby at the accident. One additional ambulance was requested to the scene for the second driver. A New York State Trooper on the scene stated that the cause of the accident is still under investigation. Both drivers were transported to a local trauma center for treatment. Crews on scene included Norwich Engine-234, Rescue-235 and Truck-2351 for traffic control. - ZACHARY MARICLE


1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


Video reviews by John Malecky

A Good Job Stories of the FDNY HBO Documentary Films Available from: FSP Books & Videos 188 Central Street, #4 Hudson, MA 01749-1330 1-800-522-8528 e-mail: Price: $19.00 (DVD) This is a 60-minute DVD comprised of a large group of interviews with FDNY firefighters of many ranks, both active and retired, about the memories of their careers, including the good times, the bad times, the happy and sad moments, times of transition and the personal effects that the ordeals and experiences left on them. The interviews are done by Steve Buscami, an award winning actor and director, who prior to his acting career, had taken the test for firefighter in 1976 and spent four years at Engine-55 in the Little Italy section of Manhattan. Steve returned to Engine-55 after 9/11 to lend a hand on “the pile," in search of missing members. The interviews address “the war years,” named for the fires in the 1960’s and 1970’s, including the Madison Square Tragedy which claimed 12 firefighters in 1966 and the Waldbaum’s roof collapse in Brooklyn in 1978, which claimed six members. The advent of female firefighters, black firefighters, self-contained breathing apparatus and new bunker clothing is discussed. Two retired female firefighters, including a battalion chief, give details of their indoctrination and treatment when women first got assigned to stations. The Happyland Social Club fire in 1989 is discussed and of course, the World Trade Center in 2001. Some of those interviewed lost family members, including two sons of Deputy Chief Ray Downey. The firehouse kitchen is touched on where jokes and horseplay abound, especially with probationary firefighters. Retired commissioner Sal Cassano and retired Deputy Chief Vincent Dunn are interviewed. Dunn could have lost his life at the Madison Square fire with the difference of his order by the deputy chief and the order given to Engine-18. If those orders were reversed, we would never have benefited from his textbooks, one of which was “The Collapse of Burning Buildings!” I believe this video will keep your undivided attention for it's duration and help both firefighters and non firefighters to appreciate what working in a burning building is like, realizing that the horrors of the job can stay with the person for many years to come.

March, 2017




March, 2017

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

To see your “Faces” in the newspaper, upload them on our website or email them to

Colonie, NY - Firefighters from West Albany pose for a photo after battling a structure fire on January 7th.


Troy, NY - Captain J. Henkel of the Troy FD working a house fire on January 9th.



Newburgh, NY - Newburgh Firefighters Nicholas Bedetti, Matthew Gayton, John Ryan, Paul Pullar and Tim Hager at St. Luke's Hospital after helping this little boy who got his finger stuck in a seatbelt.


Waterford, NY - F.B. Peck Assistant Chief Sean Gilbert oversees the scene of an incident on January 25th.


Poughkeepsie, NY - PFD Firefighter Chris Burke (left), with Dutchess County Dept. of Emergency Response Fire Coordinator Dave Alfonso at the scene of an underground transformer fire on January 10th.

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

March, 2017


Why Isn't it Okay to be a Fit Firefighter?

It seems almost silly that I’m writing this article. It actually seems like a great waste of time that it even has to be written. However, my inbox continues to fill with questions about why it’s so hard to convince other members of their departments that being fit is really a good thing. It’s almost unreal that in our society we are still convincing people that being fit is good; that our bodies weren’t made to carry hundreds of extra pounds, or that our joints and muscles need to be utilized and trained to work well, or that our organs can only work with our help. Oh and by the way, all of that applies to firefighters' bodies too. We don’t get a “service” discount on that one. As firefighters, why do we create these stigmas when it comes to fitness within our service, and why do we allow them to continue? I suppose it depends on how you look at the bigger picture because about 30-years ago, we wore hip boots and long coats. At that time, anyone who wore bunker pants was wrong. Same with Self Contained Breathing Apparatus. I think we can all agree that the level of protection bunker pants provides is far superior to that of hip boots. Wearing your SCBA is much better than eating smoke. In the end, bunker pants are good and so are SCBAs. So, maybe fitness is just as good...maybe even a better thing for the fire service than bunker pants and SCBAs. In part-one of this two part series, I plan to point out some of the common pitfalls that seem to plague the fire service when it comes to fitness and in part-two, I plan to address some ways to overcome them. Let’s start off with the biggest one of all. Fitness standards will be used as a way to discipline or even replace firefighters, further discouraging people from volunteering. It’s very possible that if a department established a mandatory health and wellness program, a person who refuses to participate could be removed from that department. Why anyone would refuse is a mystery to me. It’s a proven fact that participating in a health and wellness program sponsored by your employer is a benefit to the employee, not to mention you'd also have an added benefit, called living a better life. The statement above also applies on the volunteer end; but, if you have an established health and wellness plan, do you really want a person to volunteer who doesn’t want to be a part of it? Our Line-of-Duty-Death numbers should answer that question for you... Then we have the firefighter who still feels that the only reason we want to workout is so we look good at the beach. Well, maybe looking good at the beach isn’t such a bad thing for the fire service. Af-

ter all, we are constantly in the “public's eye." So tell me, who do you JUMP TO FILE #013017120

want representing your department? The firefighter who looks good at the beach, or the firefighter who can’t see his/her belt buckle because their stomach is hanging over it. Please realize that the above statements have zero bearing on appearance. Take a moment and picture just called a Mayday from a collapse. Which of the above firefighters would you want on your Rapid Intervention Team? A firefighter fitness "hater line" that I just can’t seem to wrap my head around is when someone says "you shouldn’t workout on-duty, or at the firehouse because you might be “tired” from working out when a re-

ported fire comes, impairing your ability to respond." In that case, I suppose we should never stretch lines, or put up the ladder, or do any form of training while on-duty because what if a reported fire comes in and we’re tired? It makes no sense to me at all. We are not “working out” at work. We are training our bodies to do our job. We just have to be smart enough to not deplete our entire tank, same as how we watch the air gauge in our masks while entering a commercial structure. In part-two of this series, I will better explain how to create a fitness culture within your department and trust me, the "quick-fix" haters won’t like this one either simply because it won’t cost $29.99, nor provide free shipping, nor promise you the ultimate weight loss or fitness solution specifically designed and doctor approved for firefighters. At the end of the day, don’t let any

haters keep you down, just let them keep on hating! Every new change that was brought to the fire service was met with resistance and every


new change that comes along will be met the same way, fitness included.



March, 2017

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

Nerney to Lead the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner John P. Melville announced on January 25th that Francis “Skip” Nerney has been appointed by Governor JUMP TO FILE# Andrew M. Cuomo 012617118 as State Fire Administrator at the Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC). The office, part of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES), delivers essential fire and life safety protection to all New Yorkers and is responsible for training the state’s firefighters. With wide ranging responsibilities including public safety, building inspections, fire investigation, firefighter training, and search and rescue, the Office of Fire Prevention and Control is one of the most comprehensive state fire service organizations in the nation. “Public safety is paramount and the Office of Fire Prevention and Control plays a vital role in helping educate New Yorkers about fire danger, and in training the state’s firefighters to combat fires and spills,” DHSES Commissioner Melville said. “Skip Nerney, a lifelong firefighter in New York, has the leadership skills to ensure that this office maintains its laser-focus on public safety and that the state’s firefighters have the best training available to keep the public safe.” Skip brings more than 30 years of public service experience in planning and execution of fire administration, prevention and community relations to his new role. Since 2014, Skip served as the Deputy State Fire Administrator for Operations where he was responsible for supervising the fire operations and training and the special operations branch, which includes technical rescue and hazardous ma-

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Minerva, NY - With heavy hearts, Minerva Vol. Fire & Rescue announced the recent passing of past Fire Chief Kerry Killon. Chief Killon served as a volunteer with the Minerva Vol. Fire Dept. & Rescue Squad for 51-years. He led the department as Fire Chief for over 25-years and is remembered for his calm and trusting leadership, both on fire calls and behind the scenes. During a 2015 interview about his time as Fire Chief, Kerry expressed the importance of recruitment and training. "Just teach the rest of them right and that's the best thing you can do. To help somebody else learn something." He ended the interview with a message to the MVFDRS volunteers, saying "I thank you guys, we're just as crazy as the rest of um'!" Rest peacefully Chief.

Past Minerva Vol. Fire & Rescue Chief Kerry Killon.


Skip Nerney, State Fire Administrator.

terials training and response. Through his leadership, the Office of Fire Prevention and Control has strengthened its firefighter training programs and enhanced the response capabilities of the State’s Crude Oil Foam Task Force and the Urban Search and Rescue Team. Prior to joining OFPC, Skip worked for the Albany Fire Department for more than 27 years and held the rank of Deputy Chief from 2008 to 2014. As Deputy Chief, he was re-



“Jake,” a slang term for “Firefighter,” was first used during the early 20th century in the Greater Boston area. Although it’s origins are recognized as “officially unknown,” many agree that the affectionate term was derived from the “J-Key,” a key shaped like the letter ‘J’ that was used to open the fire alarm box. The firefighters who held the J-key to open the fire box began being referred to as “Jakes”.


sponsible for overall department training in emergency medical services, fire suppression, hazardous materials response, technical rescue, incident command and safety. Skip began his career with the Shaker Road Loudonville Volunteer Fire Department. With more than 700 full- and part-time members, the Office of Fire Prevention and Control provides training to more than 60,000 emergency services personnel annually, both in regionally delivered programs and residentially at the Academy of Fire Science; implements statewide minimum training standards and best practices for firefighters; inspects over 25,000 buildings for fire and life safety hazards, and investigates fires. It also assists fire departments and other agencies at disasters, major emergencies and in the stabilization and mitigation of hazardous materials incidents, as well as manages New York State's Urban Search and Rescue Team (New York Task Force-2). Additionally, the office operationally coordinates fire service resources during activation of the Statewide Fire Mobilization and Mutual Aid Plan; collects, compiles, and disseminates information relating to fire and arson prevention and control; operates the state Fire Incident Reporting System, which processes approximately 1.5-million incidents reports annually; and, administers the Emergency Services Revolving Loan Program. - NYS DHSES


Two-Alarm Garage Fire in Yonkers

Yonkers, NY - On Monday, January 23rd at approximately 1:00 P.M., Yonkers Fire Department units were toned out to 1200 Midland Avenue for reports of a possible structure fire. While responding, dispatchers advised units that they were receiving multiple calls. Squad-11 arrived on the scene as first-due to find fire showing from a one-story car garage, with apartments above. An All-Hands was transmitted on the arrival of Battalion-2, while multiple lines were stretched and put into operation. The main body of fire was quickly knocked down. A second-alarm was transmitted for additional manpower and an exposure threat to the apartments above. The fire did not extend to the apartments above and the incident was placed under control with an approximate one-hour duration.

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Two-Alarm Blaze in Troy Leaves Nine People Homeless Troy, NY - Crews were dispatched on January 22nd to 631 4th St. on the NE corner of Polk Street for multiple reports of a structure fire. Due to the heavy column of smoke that could be scene from approximately threeblocks away, a Signal-30 was transmitted and then a secondalarm response before any units actually arrived to the scene. Upon arrival, crews hit a hydrant that was located on the corner right in front of the residence. The fire had a good head start on the two-story dwelling, blowing from the front of the residence in the second-floor area.



JUMP TO FILE #012217116 Troy Fire Chief Thomas Garrett stated that the crews did a great job knocking down the fire and there were no reported injuries. The chief also stated that it was unknown if the building would be a total loss given the fact that there were now rather large holes in the roof. The American Red Cross was also on scene to help with nine residents who were displaced by the blaze. - BRIAN HOULE

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Queens Firefighters Respond to All-Hands Dwelling Fire

Queens, NY - On the evening of Wednesday, January 25th, Queens fire companies responded to 10-38 47th Road near Vernon Boulevard for the report of a fire in a multiple dwelling. Battalion-45 arrived on the scene with first-due units Engine-258 and Tower Ladder-115 and transmitted an urgent 10-75 for a fire on the top floor of a three-story, 25x100 frame, multiple dwelling. Two lines were stretched while one was put into operation and the main body of fire was quickly knocked down. The fire was placed under control with an approximate 30-minute duration.


Four-Alarm Fire in Staten Island Storage Facility

Staten Island, NY - On January 21st at 10:02 A.M., units were dispatched to 3026 Veterans Road West at Metro Self Storage for reports of a fire. Upon arrival, crews found fire in multiple storage units. Division-8 reported multiple bays on fire, with a heavy smoke condition. Hazmat resources were requested to respond. At the height of the fire, a fourth-alarm was transmitted with six lines stretched and operating. The fire was put under control at 11:58 P.M. and the cause was under investigation.

The Heart of the Matter is a Matter of the Heart Chaplain's Corner

Pastor Fernando Villicana

Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. (Psalm 86:11) Singleness of heart/purpose is not a foreign concept to the firefighter or EMS worker. The very duties of these occupations cry out for a concerted singleness of our purpose to fulfill the mission. Meeting the immediate needs of the patient is the first responder's mission. Upon arrival of an emergency call, we must be totally focused on the patient as well as our surroundings. It is essential. This essentiality also applies to our spiritual lives. Only when we pursue God with singleness of heart do we experience the fulfillment of His purpose in our lives - to rescue us.

Indecision about God is described in the Bible as "doublemindedness" - and doublemindedness is a costly habit. With so much contentment at stake, why do we waver? Why don't we choose God more wholeheartedly? "Unite my heart to fear Your name." This is a prayer for the integrity of a "pure" heart, one that is not only clean, but also decisive. James wrote, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you...purify your hearts, you double-minded" (James 4:8). What we need is the courage to pursue God with singleness of purpose. Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; (1 Peter 3:8). Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1 John 3:16)


All-Hands Structure Fire in Bronx

Bronx, NY - On the afternoon of Friday, January 27th, Bronx Fire Companies responded to 183 West 238th Street at Bailey Avenue for report of a fire in a multiple-dwelling. Ladder-46 arrived on the scene as first-due with Engine-81 and transmitted a 10-75 for a fire in a six-story "HType" multiple-dwelling. Battalion-27 put All-Hands to work on arrival and requested an additional engine and truck (E62/L36). The fire was located in an apartment on the first-floor with extension to the second-floor apartment above. Two lines were stretched and put into operation. The main body of fire was quickly knocked down. All searches were complete and negative. The incident was placed under control with an approximate 50-minute duration.


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Bronx Crews Battle Blaze in Five-Story Dwelling Bronx, NY - On the evening of Tuesday, January 31st, Bronx fire companies responded to 1505 Leland Avenue at Archer Street for the report of a fire on the first-floor of a multiple dwelling. Battalion-18 arrived on the scene with the first-due units Engine-90 and Ladder-41 and transmitted a 10-75 for a fire on the first-floor of a five-story multiple dwelling. Two lines were stretched and one was put into operation. Multiple tenants were removed from the building while the main body of fire was quickly knocked down. The fire was placed under control with an approximate 30-minute duration.


FDNY Members Recognized for Life-Saving Actions New York, NY - On Tuesday, January 31st, Success Academy Charter Schools Upper West recognized FDNY Paramedic Silvana Uzcategui and Paramedic Joseph Losquadro of Station-35, as well as Lt. Brendan Mohan and Firefighter Michael Wasielesky from Ladder-24 for their involvement in the rescue of one of the school's young students from a December 22nd four-alarm fire on W. 59 St. in Manhattan. Nurses and doctors who lived in the building initially located the patient, who was hiding in a stairwell, and rendered care before firefighters arrived. Lt. Mahon said, “Due to the fact that the fire was ongoing, the el-

JUMP TO FILE #020217104 evators were shut off and there was smoke in the stairwells. EMS members could not get to the 26th-floor where the patient was located. Firefighter Wasielesky carried the patient over his shoulder down 3-4 stairwells, then I took her and we kept alternating every three flights. We met EMS in the lobby of the stairwell.” Paramedic Silvana Uzcategui said, “When you have a patient that is a child, it is always very different because no one wants to see a child

hurt. To hear that she made a full recovery is a great feeling. I’m glad she is doing well and back with her family.” FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro praised the Good Samaritans and FDNY members for their actions and reminded everyone that fire safety education is key to preventing and surviving fires, saying “I ask every teacher, parent, and child here to please check your smoke alarms, practice fire safety, visit and see how you can keep your home and family safe.” - FDNY


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Two-Alarm Dwelling Fire in Bronx Quickly Knocked

Bronx, NY - On the evening of Monday, January 30th at approximately 7:00 P.M., Bronx companies responded to 2434 Prospect Avenue at East 187th Street for the report of a fire on the second-floor of a multiple dwelling. Battalion-18 arrived on the scene with first-due units Engine-88 and Ladder38 and transmitted a 10-75 for a fire on the top floor of a six-story multiple dwelling. All Hands were put to work with an additional Engine and Truck while three lines were stretched and put into operation. A second-alarm was transmitted for fire in the cockloft, which was quickly knocked down. The fire was placed under control with an approximate 45-minute duration.


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Trash Fire in Bronx Goes to Five Alarms Bronx, NY - During the early morning hours of January 11th, South Bronx fire companies responded to 891 East 135th Street at Walnut Avenue for the report of a fire in a commercial building. Battalion-14 arrived on the scene with first-due units Engine-83 and Ladder-29 and transmitted a 10-75 for a deep-seated garbage fire burning inside a 100x150 recycling plant.

JUMP TO FILE #011117105 A second-alarm was quickly transmitted due to the heavy amount of garbage burning, followed by a third-alarm shortly after. FDNY members used payloaders to remove the garbage from the building to help extinguish it, but the fire continued to

burn. Fourth and fifth alarms were transmitted by Field Comm., along with the request for tower ladders. Tower Ladders were set up and put into operation, which then quickly knocked down the majority of the burning trash. The fire was placed under control with an approximate six-hour duration. - JOHN HOPPER

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Crews Battle Three-Alarm Structure Fire in Staten Island Staten Island, NY - At 7:06 P.M. on January 29th, firefighters were dispatched to 82 Van Buren St. in Staten Island for reports of a structure fire. Upon arrival, crews found heavy fire in a three-story, 20'x40' frame with extension to Exposure-4, which was a similar structure. Five lines were stretched and operating with one tower ladder at the rear of the fire buildings. The fire was placed under control at 8:32 P.M. with a 10-41-1 transmitted.


Staten Island, NY - Rescue Operations Battalion at the scene of a two-alarm structure fire in Staten Island on January 29th.


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Four-Alarm Fire Ravages Through Queens Store STEVE WHITE

Staten Island, NY - A Battalion Chief on-scene of a three-alarm structure fire on January 29th.

Queens, NY - On the afternoon of Wednesday, January 25th at approximately 2:30 P.M., Queens fire companies responded to 135-42 Roosevelt Avenue at Main Street for a reported store fire. Engine-273 arrived on the scene as first-due and transmitted a 10-75 for a fire in a commercial building. Battalion-52 arrived on scene and put All-Hands to work with an additional engine and truck. Shortly

JUMP TO FILE #012717105 after a second-alarm was transmitted, the fire spread from the firstfloor to the second and third floors, and then into the cockloft. Multiple lines were stretched and put into operation. The fire quickly extended to Exposure-4, which was a similar

structure, requiring the transmission of a third-alarm. Field Comm. transmitted a fourth-alarm about one-hour later due to the heavy fire conditions. The main body of fire was eventually knocked down with two tower ladders, multiple hand lines and multi-versals. The fire was placed under control with an approximate four-hour duration. - JOHN HOPPER


Bronx Units Respond to City Avenue Dwelling Fire

Bronx, NY - On the evening of Saturday, January 17th, Bronx fire companies on City Island and surrounding areas responded to Cross Street and City Island Avenue for the report of an odor of smoke in the area. Upon arrival, Engine-70 and Ladder-53 found a fire on the top floor of a three-story, wood frame dwelling at 186 Cross Street and transmitted a 10-75. One line was stretched and put into operation, but the main body of fire was quickly knocked down with the can, (a two-gallon water fire extinguisher). One elderly male was removed from the building and transported to the hospital by EMS. The fire was placed under control with an approximate 25-minute duration.


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FDNY Members Host Commissioner’s Cup Blood Drive New York, NY - On Friday, January 20th, FDNY members at Engine-7 and Ladder-1 hosted the semi-annual Commissioner’s Cup Blood Drive. Blood donations help give life to the millions of Americans each year who require blood transfusions during surgery, after an accident, or because they have a disease that requires blood components. The FDNY encourages all New Yorkers to consider giving life to those in need. To learn about donating blood and to find blood drives near you, visit



Engine-331 Helps Deliver Twin Babies in Queens

Queens, NY - On January 25th, Engine-331 responded to a home in Howard Beach, Queens for the report of a mother about to give birth to twin babies. Upon arrival, the members requested a rush on EMS, reporting that they delivered one baby in stable condition, but the second baby was breached. EMS arrived and transported the mother with her two newborns to Jamaica Hospital for further evaluation and treatment.


Two-Alarm Structure Fire in Staten Island

Staten Island, NY - At 2:43 P.M. on January 29th, fire crews responded to 18 and 40 Amsterdam Ave. in Staten Island for reports of structure fire. Upon arrival, crews found a two-story attached frame, 40'x60', multiple dwelling with fire on the second-floor. Three hand-lines were stretched and put into operation. Con Edison was requested to the scene for live wires down on top of Ladder-86. There were no reports of injuries.


March, 2017

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Brooklyn Companies Respond to Scrapyard Fire

Brooklyn, NY - On the evening of Thursday, January 12th, Brooklyn fire companies responded to Van Sinderen Avenue and Sutter Avenue for a report of a fire in a scrapyard. Battalion-44 arrived on the scene with first-due units Engine-231 and Ladder-120 to find a large area of scrap metal burning in a scrapyard. A 10-75 was quickly transmitted, followed by the All-Hands. One line was stretched and put into operation. Due to the heavy amount of fire, Tower Ladder-120 was set up and put into operation. The fire was quickly knocked down and the incident was placed under control with an approximate 25-minute duration.


Staten Island, NY - FDNY members from Ladder-84 after battling a four-alarm fire in Staten Island on January 21st.


Fire in Queens House Quickly Knocked

Queens, NY - On the evening of Thursday, January 12th, Queens fire companies responded to 157-03 35th Avenue near 157th Street for a smoke condition in a private dwelling. Battalion-52 arrived on the scene as first-due with Engine-274 and urgently transmitted a 10-75 for a fire on the second-floor of a two-story, private dwelling. Two lines were stretched while one was put into operation. The main body of fire was quickly knocked down. All searches of the fire building were found complete and negative. The fire was placed under control with an approximate 30-minute duration.


Staten Island, NY - Members from Tower Ladder-86 after battling a second-alarm structure fire in Staten Island on January 29th.

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FDNY FDNY Holds Remembrance Ceremony for Four Fallen Members Bronx, NY - On Saturday, January 21st, FDNY members and loved ones gathered in the quarters of Engine-46 and Ladder-27 for a 12th Anniversary Memorial Mass to honor Lt. John Bellew, Lt. Joseph DiBernardo, Lt. Curtis Meyran and Firefighter Richard T. Sclafani, all who made the Supreme Sacrifice as a result of two separate fires on January 23rd, 2005; a day that has come to be known within the department as “Black Sunday.� On January 23rd, 2005, six firefighters were battling a three-alarm fire in a four-story apartment building in the Bronx. While searching the fourth-floor of the building for occupants who were believed to be trapped, the fire and extreme heat rapidly intensified, trapping the firefighters and subsequently forcing them to jump from the fourthfloor window to the ground below. As a result, they all suffered critical, life-threatening injuries. Lt. Curtis Meyran of Battalion26 and Lt. John Bellew of Ladder-

JUMP TO FILE #020217106 27 died that day from their injuries. Lt. Joseph DiBernardo of Rescue-3 endured multiple surgical procedures before his death on November 22nd, 2011. In a separate incident that same day, Firefighter Richard T. Sclafani of Ladder-103 died while fighting a fire in Brooklyn. Firefighter Sclafani and members of Ladder103 were among the first firefighters to arrive on the scene of a basement fire in a two-story private dwelling. They immediately began searching for both the location of the fire and any trapped occupants. During these search operations, Firefighter Sclafani became separated from his company. He was found minutes later, unconscious and in respiratory arrest on the cellar staircase. He succumbed to his injuries that day. - FDNY



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Lt. John Bellew, Lt. Joseph DiBernardo, Lt. Curtis Meyran and Firefighter Richard T. Sclafani.


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