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The New York Edition



MAY, 2018



Jamestown, NY - At 9:34 P.M. on March 15th, the Jamestown Fire Department was dispatched to Willard Street for a reported structure fire. Car 1 went on scene and reported a working structure fire. At 9:38 P.M., an off shift of 15 plus 1 was called in.

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May, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

Autism: The Unexpected Call and What to Expect


Easter Sunday Blaze Strikes Poughkeepsie Poughkeepsie, NY - Poughkeepsie firefighters were dispatched to a blaze at an abandoned building at 91 Cannon Street around 6:30 P.M. on Easter Sunday. The first-due apparatus manned by Group 1 firefighters confirmed the blaze and the second-alarm was struck, bringing Fairview firefighters on 41-11 and Arlington's FAST team on 32-52 to the scene. Firefighters made quick work of the fire in the abandoned three-family house that was originally constructed in 1920. The building has had at least three different fires over the last 15 years. The City of Poughkeepsie Building Department was on the scene to begin the condemnation process of the building. Mobile Life Support Services assisted on scene with an ambulance.

PATCH OF THE MONTH If you have photos you would like to see in our “Patch of the Month” feature please upload them on our website, or email them to

I started training first responders in autism awareness in 2008. It was a hard sell even though the training was free. The autism rate then was 1 out of every 150 children born in the U.S. Now officially it’s 1 out of 68; unofficially it’s more like 1 out of 24 per the large autism groups. Autism is getting to be more prevalent every year. The chances of a call involving an individual with autism are extremely high. You may have already had this interaction and not realized it. We have all been trained to handle emergencies, but not an emergency that involves an individual with autism. In this article, I will try to outline the basics; my hope is that this article will help you better understand the issue and the need for more involved training. Autism is basically a dysfunction of the senses: hearing, vision, touch and smell. In many individuals one or more of these senses are amplified causing confusion and sensory overloads. The first thing you must consider is that individuals with autism are very structured on how they live day to day. Any disruption can create a sense of panic and anxiety. The one common trait is that it will be a confrontation for you, the first responder. Their caregiver should be your go-to person. This could be a parent, teacher or anyone that knows the person. They can answer most questions. Many individuals with autism are nonverbal or have skills far less than their age level. Many use picture boards to communicate. There are free apps you can download for your phone so you have them readily available. When you do attempt to communicate, speak slowly and do not shout. Use simple terms, not slang, as they may take what you say literally. Even if they are not looking directly at you, it doesn’t mean they are not listening. Give them the time they need to sort out what you are asking them. Sometimes rephrasing the question will

JUMP TO FILE #032618125 get you the answers you need. Let’s move on to search and rescue. Elopement is big in the autism community. Individuals with autism are master escape artists and are attracted to water. They have no real sense of dangers, like water currents, temperatures, heights, roads and railroad tracks. They feel comfortable in tight, out of the way places that can be dangerous to access. Approaching them quickly can startle them, putting them in further danger. Our second form of search and rescue is a structure fire. Any action you take will break their routine, thus causing confrontation. You are asking them to leave their “safe” place. Remember, the caregiver will be your go-to for places to look. Once again search tight, out of the way places, under beds and in closets. Subduing the individual will not be easy and will require several people. Individuals with autism have great amounts of strength especially when their adrenaline is flowing. After finding the individual, be ready for more possible confrontation. Things as simple as what door you exit may break their routine. Be prepared in case an alternative exit is needed. Doors and windows can be locked and barred to deter wandering. After any rescue, the individual must be watched or they may attempt to return to the place they were just rescued from! If approaching an accident scene or called to a house or school for an individual with autism, try to keep lights and sirens to a minimum. These can trigger seizures. Even if you are responding to a call at a school or group home and the individual does not have autism, someone there may. Many individuals with autism are subject to regular seizures. Confusion is frustrating for individuals with autism. Simple

things like the diamond plate on the steps of the ambulance or EKG cable wadded up could cause the individual to become uncooperative. Have a caregiver accompany the individual in the ambulance; it will make things easier. Again, if you must restrain the individual, it must be face up and use as many people as possible. The ER environment should be a private quiet room, low lighting and cloth sheets, not paper. One reactive mechanism is a “meltdown”. It’s basically a loss of control of senses. It’s not a temper tantrum. In most case it will play itself out. If the individual is not endangering him or herself and is no danger to you or others, let the meltdown take its course. They will tire and be much more willing to cooperate. In closing, visit an autism group home and set up a fieldtrip with them to your firehouse. It’s a great way for interaction between first responders and the individuals in a non-threatening environment. They get to see the equipment and firefighters in gear and can learn to become more relaxed with it and you. You get the opportunity to see some of the things we discussed in this article first hand and a chance to practice your communication skills. - JOHN SOKOL

John M. Sokol. Ph.D., the author of this article, has been a firefighter for over 10 years and is currently Deputy Fire Chief of Beaverville Fire Protection District in Illinois. You can take his complete training course online for a very small donation. The program is nationally accredited through C.A.P.C.E. and approved for EMT/EMS/Paramedic continuing educations hours in almost every state. You can contact Deputy Chief Sokol if you would like to set up on-site training at


The recent patch of Cosgriff Hose Company #4 of the Haverstraw Fire Department, portraying the old World War 2 warning light that was on top of the Hi-tor mountain. It warned planes about where the mountain was.


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May, 2018



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May, 2018

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Chelsea, NY - On Saturday, March 24th, Firefighter Anthony Bell, Lt. Angel Luis Gonzalez III and Lt. Jonathan Castelli participated in the 2018 Dutchess/Ulster Heart Walk at Marist College. The walk was done in support of a great cause, as well as in remembrance of our fallen brother Firefighter, Michael "Mikey" Cabrera Jr., who was a 32-year life member that died in December after fighting heart disease for several years. Firefighters marched in full turnout gear with airpacks while carrying a fourth pack to represent "Bringing our Brother and Friend to the finish line". Marching along with Chelsea FD were the loving members of the Cabrera family as well as friends.

The Alliance is also dedicated to fire safety education of at-risk groups across the nation. Free fire prevention education books for fire departments, schools, and organizations can be requested at w w w. v o l u n t e e r f i r e f i g h t e r a About Volunteer Firefighter Alliance: The Volunteer Firefighter Alliance is committed to fire safety and prevention through public education. The non-profit organization assists local volunteer fire departments across the country in areas such as recruitment, community outreach, fundraising, and public education. - VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER ALLIANCE


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1st Responder News (ISSN 1525-1683) - New York edition - Vol. 19 No. 5 - 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.


Chelsea Firefighters Walk in Dutchess/Ulster Heart Walk in Support of Late Member

JUMP TO FILE #032318106


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Knoxville, TN - The Volunteer Firefighter Alliance is kicking off its Spring Fire Prevention Push, in which free fire prevention materials are offered to groups across the country. The Alliance has free fire prevention activity books available to fire departments, schools and civic organizations. The Alliance hopes that these materials will help raise fire prevention awareness in communities across the nation. Groups can get started by visiting and clicking on the ‘programs’ tab to request materials. Organizations will then receive the materials in the mail. The Volunteer Firefighter Alliance is a national non-profit 501c3 organization dedicated to assisting volunteer firefighters and their departments through many diverse programs.

Notice: The advertisements, articles, and letters contained in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of 1st Responder Inc. and Belsito Communications, Inc. Advertisements are sold pursuant to the “space available” and corresponding fee schedule. The mere fact that advertisements are contained in this publication does not express nor imply that 1st Responder Inc. and Belsito Communications, Inc. vouches for the credibility of the claims made in the advertisements or the representations expressed or implied in them.


Two Pickup Trucks Collide in Lima

Lima, NY - One person was injured on Sunday, April 1st, after two pickup trucks collided at the intersection of Livonia Center Road and Woodruff Road in the town of Lima. The impact of the crash caused one of the trucks to roll over. An occupant of one of the trucks was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, with non-life-threatening injuries. The occupants of the second truck were not injured. Livonia Fire and EMS were dispatched to the scene. The cause of the crash is under investigation by the New York State Police.

This month's prized possession takes us back to the 1994 debut edition, when the newspaper was known as "Emergency Services News". One name change and 25 years later, we're still going strong, publishing nine editions that cover a total of 20 states!


1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

May, 2018



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


Scrapyard Building Fire in Kingston Kingston, NY - On Friday evening, February 23rd, at 9:37 P.M., the Kingston FD responded to a structure fire at 10 North Street. Firefighters found smoke and fire coming from the former B. Millens scrap metal recycling center. Deputy Fire Chief Wayne Platte said there was no electricity to the building. The one-story masonry building was not totally destroyed. The fire is under investigation. Seven pieces of apparatus with 25 firefighters, along with Ulster Hose Co. #5, fought the fire.

Franklin Square, NY - The Franklin Square & Munson Fire Department responds to over 1,000 fire and medical emergencies in the area each year. The department presently protects an area of about three-squaremiles consisting of Franklin Square, Garden City South, and parts of West Hempstead, with a population of approximately 30,000 people. Nearly 104 firefighters currently volunteer, and two have been named Assistant Fire Chiefs for 2018.

Assistant Chief Dominick Labianca and Assistant Chief Joseph Gerrato have been with the Franklin Square & Munson Fire Department for over two decades, both working hard up the ranks. Labianca joined in 1994, and Gerrato in 1997, both natives of Franklin Square. Here is a look at some of the people protecting your neighborhood. -What made you join? Labianca: “I’ve always been interested in the fire department, since I was a kid, so I joined.” Gerrato: “I actually followed in my older brother’s footsteps and ended up joining after he did.”

Assistant Chief Joseph Gerrato


-How has the fire service impacted your life? Labianca: “First, it is very rewarding being a part of the Fire Department. I enjoy protecting the town I grew up in and being able to show up on the scene and solve someone else’s problems.” Gerrato: “Being a part of the Fire Department has greatly impacted my life. And because of it, I have gotten more involved in civic and town community groups, and it has also opened the door for certain opportunities like jobs, training, and education.


Truck Fire at Arkel Motors in New Windsor Goes to Two Alarms New Windsor, NY - The New Windsor FD and PD responded to a truck fire outside of the garage at Arkel Motors on State Route 32 on March 19th. New Windsor command requested Newburgh FD, Vails Gate FD and Highland FD to the scene. Vails Gate's ladder was in front of the building and firefighters went to the roof to look for extensions. The fire was quickly extinguished. Firefighters were then checking the garage area for extensions. New Windsor EMS had two units on standby during the fire.

-Why is it important to you to be involved in your community? Labianca: “I think it’s important to make a positive impact on people’s lives. I am able to help my neighbors when they need it most. I love the town I grew up in and I enjoy protecting it.” Gerrato: “My family has been in this community since the 1920s. I always wanted to help out and make a difference. I want to try to make things better for people when they’re at their worst times or have an emergency.” -What is your favorite part about working with FS&MFD? Labianca: “My favorite part is the excitement; that feeling you get from helping someone else in need.” Gerrato: “There is a satisfaction in seeing a task or job get completed with a successful outcome. It’s also great seeing how the community pulls to-

Assistant Chief Dominick Labianca

gether in those times when someone needs help and the comradery.”

-What would you tell someone who is thinking about getting involved in their community and thinking about joining the fire department? Labianca: “I would definitely encourage them to come down and visit us. We have taken people who have never thought about how to put out a fire or put a band-aid on someone to become well-trained firefighters and EMTs. No, it is


not paid but the feelings you get from helping people and making a difference in someone’s life; getting that thank you means the world.” Gerrato: “I would definitely tell them that it requires a lot of time and you have to make sure to have your family on board. It is a commitment due to all the training, and that requires many hours a week. Being a volunteer firefighter becomes a second full time job but it’s definitely worth it.” - MELISSA WEIR


May, 2018

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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

Kansas: John Randle, 67 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: January 1, 2018 Death Date: January 2, 2018 Fire Department: Wamego City Fire Department Initial Summary: At 0450hrs, January 1, 2018, the Wamego Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire. Upon completion of the call and after returning to the station, Firefighter John Randle sustained a life threatening injury from a fall while returning fire apparatus to service. Firefighter Randle, was air lifted from Wamego Health Center to Stormont Vail Hospital where on January 2, 2018, Firefighter Randle succumbed to his injuries.

Pennsylvania: Matthew LeTourneau, 42 Rank: Lieutenant Incident Date: January 6, 2018 Death Date: January 6, 2018 Fire Department: Philadelphia Fire Department Initial Summary: Lieutenant Matthew LeTourneau of Philadelphia Fire Department Engine 45 succumbed to injuries suffered from a structural collapse while fighting a rowhouse fire. Louisiana: Russell Achord, 48 Rank: Deputy Fire Chief Incident Date: January 17, 2018 Death Date: January 17, 2018 Fire Department: West Feliciana Parish Fire Protection District #1 Initial Summary: While at the scene of a motor vehicle collision involving a tractor-trailer that had run off the side of a highway due to icy conditions, the driver of a second vehicle, a pickup truck pulling a trailer, lost control and crashed into the scene. Several people were struck and injured, including Deputy Fire Chief Russell Achord, who was pinned under a vehicle. Fellow responders rushed to extract Chief Achord and provided med-

ical aid measures while he was transported to the West Feliciana Hospital where he died from his injuries.

Tennessee: Derrick Ryan Webb, 31 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: January 17, 2018 Death Date: January 17, 2018 Fire Department: Hardy’s Chapel Volunteer Fire Department Initial Summary: Firefighter Derrick Ryan Webb fell ill while preparing a training drill at the fire station. Webb was found unresponsive in the apparatus bay beside his turn-out gear and SCBA. The PASS device on the SCBA was still sounding. CPR was initiated but firefighter Webb was pronounced deceased at the hospital from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be reported. Virgin Islands: Dwayne "Yogi" Thomas, 57 Rank: Firefighter/Driver-Operator Incident Date: January 24, 2018 Death Date: January 24, 2018 Fire Department: U.S. Virgin Islands Fire Service Initial Summary: Shortly after driving a tanker to the scene of a structure fire, Firefighter/Driver-Operator Dwayne "Yogi" Thomas assisted with forced entry of the burning building. Firefighter Thomas then returned to his apparatus as other fire engines arrived on scene to set up water supply. Soon thereafter, Firefighter Thomas was found unresponsive by fellow responders. Thomas was attended to immediately, but succumbed to his injury, a reported heart attack, while being transported to the hospital.

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

May, 2018



May, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


If you have photos you would like to see in our “All in the Family” feature please upload them on our website, or email them to

Because Jamie and Todd Wainwright have a little one at home and they are both Churchville firefighters, they have a home rule. Each night they switch on who will respond to the fire and who will stay home with the little one. This night was a reported house fire and Todd quickly jumped out of bed and said "see ya, honey!". Soon after, Jamie arrived on scene after getting her mother-in-law (whose husband is also a firefighter), to come over and babysit.




Cheshire FD members stand ready as the FAST team, including a father and his son, as well as a fellow member. There is also another son who is chief of the Hall FD. Great family, and true brotherhood!

Firefighters Save Family Pet During Two-Alarm House Fire in Cuddebackville Cuddebackville, NY – A family pet and portions of a home were saved after multiple calls from neighbors to Orange County 9-1-1 center brought firefighters quickly to the scene of a two-alarm structure fire on March 24th. The fire, in a one-family Cuddebackville home located at 3 Maple Lane, prompted the life-saving rescue of a dog from the family’s home. The pet was safely brought to a neighbor’s home after being located and removed from what firefighters and neighbors said was a nearly fully involved fire. Portions of the home sustained heavy damage prior to firefighters’ arrival, but others were saved in a fast stop once on scene. Cuddebackville Fire Depart-

JUMP TO FILE #032518111 ment’s 2nd Assistant Chief Blaze Vandermark, who was one of the first to arrive on scene, called for mutual aid after hearing that multiple neighbors had called to report the fire, with possible entrapment. Multiple departments responded to the scene, with others on standby locations. Vandemark credited the fast response of firefighters and ability to quickly send in interior firefighters to stop the spread as others attacked the fire simultaneously on exterior sides. Residents of the home, who were shopping at the time the fire began, said upon being alerted to

come home that nothing appeared out of the ordinary as they left home that afternoon. “It was an unfortunate event, but what came in as possible entrapment could have been much worse,” said Vandermark. “We are grateful for the help of everyone who assisted today.” The cause of the blaze had not been determined as of late afternoon that day. Fire departments on scene included Cuddebackville, Westbrookville, Huguenot, Otisville and Circleville. Port Jervis Ambulance Corps and the Town of Deerpark Police were also on scene. - SHARON SIEGEL


Monroe County 4th Battalion Coordinator Scott Flagler shares a moment with his daughter, Lt. Courtney Flagler, at a recent fire. Scott has served in every capacity of the line officers, including Chief twice and currently President.


1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

May, 2018


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OVER 108 EXHIBITS - SHOW IS SOLD OUT! FULL DAY OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY THURSDAY JUNE 21st Presenter Biography: Billy Greenwood is a 25 year student of the fire service, holding positions in volunteer, paid on call and career fire departments. He is currently the Assistant Fire Chief of Training with the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and Lieutenant with the City of Keene Fire Department. "Surviving the Insult" - Benchmarking Interior Conditions to Reduce Firefighter Burn Injuries (5 Year FDIC Program) "Mayday Management for Incident Command - Strategic Considerations Unfolded"





May, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


Utica Firefighters Handle Machine Fire at St. Elizabeth Hospital Utica, NY - On March 8th at 9:20 P.M., the Utica Fire Department was toned out for a reported fire with smoke showing at St. Elizabeth Medical Center. Upon arrival, responding units found smoke showing from a piece of machinery on the roof above the Emergency Room. Hospital workers stated that the smoke was coming from a malfunctioning HVAC unit on the roof of the building. Units quickly packed back up and returned to service after shutting down the HVAC unit. Hospital operations continued through the incident unaffected.


Three-Alarm Fire Destroys Cohoes Home Cohoes, NY - On March 23rd, the city of Cohoes Fire Department was toned for a reported structure fire at 26 Continental Avenue. Additional mutual aid from the city of Watervliet, Green Island, and the Watervliet Arsenal was also dispatched. Heavy black smoke could be seen from Green Island as the call was being dispatched. The first arriving unit on scene had a heavy fire condition in the rear of the structure. Firefighters deployed multiple hand lines and a blitz fire to the rear of the building as the neighboring house's siding was starting to melt due to flame impingement. Command requested the second and third alarm to be transmitted to

JUMP TO FILE #032918102 bring additional resources into the city of Cohoes. The city of Albany was requested for one engine and one truck company to the scene, while the city of Troy was requested to cover the city of Cohoes for all emergency calls. Firefighters mounted an aggressive interior attack. Crews had heavy fire conditions in the attic area above them. Command requested the truck company to open up with their master stream on the roof to get to the heavy fire conditions towards the front of the building. Firefighters inside the building moved to a safe lo-

cation to the floor below. As soon as the truck company opened up their master streams, the heavy fire conditions were quickly knocked down. While firefighters conducted the secondary search of the building, they discovered a fish tank on the second-floor that contained one of the family's pets, which was still alive. A hognose snake was removed from the structure and turned over to its grateful owner. Firefighters conducted heavy overhaul of the badly damaged structure for a few hours. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. No firefighters or residents were injured in the fire. - JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER


Three Cars Crash in Newburgh Newburgh, NY - Winona Lake firefighters responded on March 16th at 10:15 A.M. to a three-car crash on Route 17K in Newburgh. One person was taken to the hospital by the town of Newburgh Ambulance Corp.


1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

May, 2018



May, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

Mother and Son Killed in Fishkill Double Fatal Pedestrian Accident Fishkill, NY - At approximately 8:40 P.M. on Sunday night, March 25th, members of the NYSP, Rombout Fire Department and MLSS were dispatched to Route 52 and I84 in Fishkill for reports of five people struck by an auto. Upon arrival of NYSP, officers re- JUMP TO FILE# ported that at least 032618119 three people were unconscious and requested additional EMS units to respond from Mobile Life. Rombout Car 2 requested a Medivac to the scene, but due to a 25 minute ETA, MLSS transported three people to Mid Hudson Regional. Two people were pronounced dead at the scene, a 28-year-old woman and her 10-month-old son. The mother was attempting to cross Route 52 with her four children when they were hit by an SUV. Her three other children, ages 11, six and four, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Mutual Aid from Gelham was also requested to the scene for traffic control. - JEFF CRIANZA


1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

A God of Empty Promises Chaplain's Corner

Pastor Fernando Villicana

I recently came across this story: A young man from a wealthy family was about to graduate from high school. It was the custom in that affluent neighborhood for the parents to give the graduate an automobile. "Bill" and his father had spent months looking at cars, and the week before graduation, they found the perfect car. Bill's father told him that he would come through with a promise to purchase the car for him upon his graduation. On the eve of his graduation, his father handed him a gift-wrapped Bible. Bill was so angry that he threw the Bible down and stormed out of the house. He and his father never saw each other again. It was only the news of his father’s death years later that brought Bill home again. As he sat one night going through his father’s possessions that he was to inherit, he came across the Bible his father had given him. He brushed away the dust and opened it to find a cashier’s check, dated the day of his graduation, in the exact amount of the car they had chosen together. As I thought about this story, I couldn’t help but wonder how many people in this world have done the same thing with God. Literally tossed aside a wonderful promise(s), because they didn’t understand it, look into it enough, or believe that it was possible. God reveals His promises to all of us in the Bible: "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope," (Jeremiah 29:11). In our world, we are taught that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is". So many of us have been taken in by “empty promises,” that we are leery of anything or anyone that tells us we can have something for nothing. The world simply doesn’t work that way! But, you know what – God does. God never made a promise that was too good to be true. It is His gift to those who trust in Him: “I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid," (John 14:27). The truth of the matter is, the world is full of empty promises. We watch TV and the advertisements tell us that we can be happy, sexy, rich, or famous, if only we purchase a certain product. It doesn’t take long before we

discover that the world’s promises are full of emptiness. But, God is different. Instead of promises full of emptiness, he gave us emptiness that is full of promise. For all of God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding "Yes!", and through Christ, our "Amen" (which means "Yes") …(2 Corinthians 1:20a). Jesus said: ”I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:2526 ). What tremendous promises promises that all can embrace with confidence.


May, 2018

Vehicle News


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May, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

How to Hide Healthy Ingredients in the Firehouse Menu FORK & HOSE CO. a Food Blog by A.J. Fusco


The building collapsed, putting out most of the flames, nearly missing a fire engine.

I have said it once and I will say it again; getting the crew to eat healthy in the firehouse is not easy. But one thing I have learned over the years is that you have to treat it the way parents do when trying to get their kids to eat vegetables. It’s trickery, mixed with a little culinary creativity and a splash of luck. If you are lucky like me, your crew will trust you enough when it comes to cooking that they won’t ask too many questions. Sometimes after a meal I will get the “What was that thing you put in the pot?” But if I was successful at hiding the healthy stuff, they won’t even know what hit 'em! How to go about doing this is

easier than you may think. One of the first ways I was able to “hide” a healthy ingredient was by swapping in mashed cauliflower for half of the potatoes needed for Shepherd’s Pie. The crew knew something was different, but they just couldn’t figure out what it was, but they loved it! One of my favorite things in the world to cook is pasta, but unfortunately many pasta dishes don’t offer much in the way of nutrition. To get a little more fiber I will use whole wheat pasta if possible. This will fill up the crew a little quicker, resulting in smaller portions and often less calories consumed. Adding more vegetables than meat is also another little “trick” to get more nutrients and vitamins into the meal. For example, with the classic pasta with sausage, broccoli, garlic and oil, I will cut the amount of sausage in half and add more broccoli than say a recipe calls for. When the crew wanted lamb burgers I was able to put some ideas

“to the test”. Since lamb is naturally very lean, it can dry out very easily. So even if you don’t overcook it, it still needs some extra fat to make it more delicious. With the Roasted Pepper Sauce, I used Greek Yogurt instead of the traditional Mayonnaise based. The yogurt offers much more in protein and probiotics. And the best part...they didn’t even know it was yogurt! I also felt the burger needed a little crunch to it, so I decided on a Radicchio Herb Salad to top the burger with. Radicchio is great because it offers a slight bitterness that compliments the gamier lamb flavor. And the herbs and lemon were able to cut through the fat of the feta cheese and sauce. And of course a burger is often served with fries, and while it is a great combo, sometimes I want to eat a little healthier. So for this meal I roasted some potatoes in olive oil with fresh thyme and finished with lemon. Another healthy, delicious firehouse meal!

“Lamb Burger with Feta, Roasted Pepper Yogurt Sauce & Radicchio Herb Salad” Roasted Pepper Sauce

INGREDIENTS: 3 pcs. Jarred Roasted Red Pepper, drained well 8 oz. Plain Greek Yogurt Zest of ½ Lemon 1 Tsp. Lemon Juice 1 Garlic Clove, diced 2 TBS. Extra Virgin Olive Oil Salt, to taste


Blaze Destroys Church in Ulster Town of Ulster, NY - On February 24th at 11:30 P.M., the East Kingston Fire Dept. responded to reported smoke and a glow showing in the sky. Upon firefighters arrival at 59 Brigham Street, they found a church with heavy smoke and fire showing. The former East Kingston Methodist church was totally destroyed and collapsed during the blaze. Approximately 50 firefighters from six fire companies fought the blaze for almost two hours. East Kingston Fire Chief William McDermott said that the fire is suspicious and incendiary in nature, and is under investigation. One firefighter was transported to the hospital for chest pains.

PROCEDURE: Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor. Pulse well. With machine running, drizzle in olive oil just until combined. Taste for seasoning. Radicchio Herb Salad

INGREDIENTS: Small Head of Radicchio, first couple of layers peeled ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley, rough chopped ¼ Cup Mint, rough chopped Zest of ½ Lemon 1 TBS. Lemon Juice Extra Virgin Olive Oil, just enough to coat Salt, to taste

PROCEDURE: Cut radicchio into thin strips. Combine in a bowl with herbs, lemon zest and juice and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine, add a drizzle of olive oil. Taste and season as needed.


1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


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Churchville, NY - After going to work to knock down a large rubbish fire, Churchville Firefighter Todd Smith (right), and Lt. Colin Willis stopped for this shot.


Geneva, NY - The crew from Engine 13 pose in front of reserve Engine 2 after a Mutual Aid fire.

Serving g those who seerve us.

87 77-541-HERO

May, 2018



May, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


New Paltz Handles Car Fire on NYS Thruway New Paltz, NY - The New Paltz Fire Dept. was dispatched to a car fire on the NYS Thruway on March 25th. There were multiple calls to Ulster 9-1-1 reporting the fire. Upon arrival, Asst. Chief Cory Wirthmann reported a fully involved car fire. An engine and tanker responded to quench the blaze. There were no injuries.

Royer and Diana Pfersick at an open house last year at the fire station.


Early CPR Saves Rush Firefighter’s Life Rush, NY - Sometimes the system works. Just after midnight on March 19th, Rush FD Ambulance and firefighters were notified of a 68-year-old male in cardiac arrest. The patient, Royer Pfersick, is a Rush firefighter and retired EMT from FDNY. Three fire chiefs, along with seven firefighters and EMTs, responded to the home. Rush past fire chief/present firefighter and Deputy Chief at CHS (Henrietta Ambulance), Jim Bucci, responded and was the first Rush responder to arrive. The 9-1-1 center did a great job getting EVERYONE who could help notified. All 45 Rush firefighter pagers were activated

JUMP TO FILE #032018101 for this call. A Monroe Co. Sheriff Deputy, Erica Henderson, was on patrol and less than 1,000-feet from the home when the call came out. She responded to the home and was doing CPR on the patient when Jim Bucci arrived. Prior to the deputy's arrival, the patient’s wife, Diana Pfersick, was doing CPR. Diana is an EMTP and Chairman of the FASNY EMS Committee for the State of New York, as well as a CPR instructor. Within 80 seconds, Jim Bucci had the AED hooked up and

shocked the patient. One shock brought the patient's heart back into a reasonable heartbeat. He was conscious and breathing when CHS transported him to Strong Memorial Hospital. Rush EMT Jim Bucci went along to assist. A family member reported that he will need a quadruple bypass. What saved this patient was CPR being started immediately and an AED (Automatic External Defiribulator). If the CPR had not been started right away, I hate to think what the outcome may have been. Great job by all those involved! - BOB FAUGH


Motorcycle Versus Car in Newburgh Newburgh, NY - The Cronomer Valley FD was dispatched to a motorcycle versus car accident at Route 300 and North Plank Road on March 22nd. Town of Newburgh Police, EMS and Mobile Life were also at the scene. One subject was transported to Saint Luke's Hospital. The Town of Newburgh PD is investigating. Cronomer Valley held units in quarters per PD.


Two-Alarm House Fire in Canandaigua Canandaigua, NY - The Canandaigua FD was toned out at 1:30 A.M. on April 3rd for a reported bedroom fire. Engine 211 and Truck 282 went responding. As they were enroute, the police department arrived on scene and said they had a working fire in a two-story, side-by-side apartment. The fire department declared a working fire and requested a second-alarm, bringing Crystal Beach and Cheshire Fire Departments to the scene. As a FAST team, the Farmington FD was on standby at Canandaigua Station 2.

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May, 2018


Past Chief Bill Asprion Named Selkirk F.D. Firefighter of the Year Delmar, NY - On March 5th, during the annual ceremony held at the Nathaniel Adams Blanchard 1040 Post in Delmar, Past Chief and current Commis- JUMP TO FILE# sioner, William As- 040518101 prion, was presented with the 2017 Selkirk Fire Department Firefighter of the Year award. Chief Asprion was presented with the award for his over 40 years of service to the department and the community, especially for the last seven years serving as Chief of the Department. Following is the speech that was given at the ceremony by Commissioner Doug VanApeldoorn, who presented the award along with Chief Joe Michaniw. "Commander Maddock, distinguished guests and fellow emergency services brothers and sisters that are with us tonight, on behalf of the Selkirk Fire Department Board of Directors, Chief Michaniw and I have been asked to recognize tonight our department’s selection for our Firefighter/Person of the Year." "We thank you Commander Maddock, and the members of the 1040 Post, for giving us this stage and opportunity to recognize one of our own for their contributions to not only our fire department, but also to our community. This year’s recipient of the Selkirk Fire Department Firefighter of the Year award is Past Chief William Asprion." "Chief Asprion followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and joined the department in 1976. Within a short time he became a very active member of the department. He started at Selkirk Fire Co. 2 in Glenmont before moving down to Selkirk Fire Co. 1 in Selkirk. While a member responding out of Co. 1, he rose through the ranks, serving terms as 3rd Assistant Chief, 2nd Assistant Chief, and 1st Assistant Chief of Co. 1." "During this same time frame, he, along with other department members, helped make our department a well-known and respected extrication/heavy rescue department. He was a member and sometimes Captain of the Selkirk FD extrication competition teams that competed all around New York State. He served as a judge at some of the competitions and helped create extrication/heavy/rescue training programs via the Upstate Extrication Technicians Group." "Sometime after this, he moved into his family home in Glenmont and at the same time, moved back to Selkirk Fire Co. 2. In 1999, I joined the department and did not really know Bill too well. I saw him at an occasional fire call or drill."

"Within a couple years after I joined the department, he hurt his back at his job. This put him on the sidelines, on the active-disabled list. During his time on the active-disabled sidelines, I was working my way up the ranks and had become 1st Asst. Chief and training officer at Selkirk Fire Co. 2, and was responsible for maintaining the firefighter training records for our fire company." "I remember reviewing our members training records and Bill’s folder stuck right out. Not because his name begins with the letter “A”, and it was in the front of the filing cabinet. What made it stand out was the overall size of the folder. If you think back to our school systems, the kid with the thickest folder was the one kid that got in trouble the most. But in all seriousness, the main reason his folder was so overflowing was because of everything he had accomplished up to that point." "All of his OFPC course certificates, Extrication Training and Competition correspondence, Past Officer oath forms, etc., etc. I then realized something I hadn’t up until that very moment, which was just how much he had contributed to our department prior to my arrival. He had a lifetime’s worth of experience and commitment already up to that point. I really gained a new perspective on Bill that day. Kind of an important lesson all new members need to think about. You just don’t know, when you join, and look around the room at your other brother and sister firefighters, just what they have already accomplished before you joined." "Thankfully around 2005-2006, after a few years out of service, his back healed up enough to be back active, which says a lot about Chief Asprion because a lot of guys never came back active after going activedisabled. But here he was, coming back. And as the training officer, he immediately seeked me out and wanted to get re-qualified on the trucks and be brought up to speed on what he has missed over the last few years, new procedures, guidelines, etc. The “old” guy letting the “new” guy train and teach him. That happens so much in the fire service right? Another reason why he gained my respect." "Because of his re-dedication, within a couple of years of returning to active duty, he was elected as Co. Chief of Selkirk Fire Co. 2, a position he absolutely excelled at for three years. He was the District Training Officer. He pushed our three fire companies to train more together, because working together we would be a stronger unit and serve our community better. And he always reinforced into us that training was the key component to being good firefighters." "In 2011 all of his contributions were recognized when he was

elected to the position of District Chief, a position he held through 2017. Seven years as Chief is one hell of an accomplishment and deserves to be recognized rightfully so. And to quote the Chief himself, here are a “few quick things” that he accomplished during his time as our Chief." "Establishing strong healthy relationships with major businesses within our district that in turn provided funding for some of the district’s equipment projects. To the tune of almost $60,000. Some of the equipment dollars he helped save our residents was our new UTV Gator with a new trailer and some brush equipment, new generator lights, some new monitors, and contributions towards new thermal imaging cameras, for quick examples." "He also sought other benefits that having good relationships with our local businesses could bring. One example is getting our department to be able to do extrication training in the metal scrapyard down at the Port of Albany, and helping get a used, but in good shape, extra enclosed trailer from Air Products." "In 2012 he led a group of Selkirk firefighters to Long Beach, Long Island, right after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the east coast. He responded to numerous calls while on scene, including a working structure fire. He received a great deal of gratitude and respect from the officers of the local fire department he was serving out of in Long Beach, as well as others assisting outside from visiting fire departments, due to his strong leadership abilities." "In 2014 he once again stepped up in another’s time of need when he led a group out to the Buffalo area, after that area was hit with several feet of snow. While out in the western part of the state, he responded to various emergency calls, including one where they assisted rescuing someone from the roof of a Home Depot store." "In 2015 Selkirk Fire Department was dispatched to one the largest structure fires in the history of our area, at the Bethlehem Industrial Park. Again, his leadership skills were on display organizing the response to this incident that incorporated over 10 various fire and emergency services organizations, from local and state levels." "These are just a few of Chief Asprion’s many accomplishments he achieved during his seven years as Chief." "So, on behalf of Board Chairman Bill Collins, the Selkirk Board of Directors and the members of the Selkirk Fire Department, Chief Michaniw and I proudly present Chief William Asprion the Selkirk Fire Department with the Firefighter of the Year award." - JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER



Car Hits Home in Poughkeepsie

Poughkeepsie, NY - On March 26th, the Arlington FD responded with 32-9, 32-11 and 32-52 for a report of a vehicle into a house on Seitz Terrace in Poughkeepsie. The vehicle had gone through a hedgerow and came to rest against the residential structure. No injuries were reported. Firefighters performed a quick assessment and were back in service shortly after the tones had dropped.


May, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

Three-Alarm Fire Temporarily Closes Jefferson County Business Adams, NY - A three-alarm fire temporarily closed a town of Lorraine business. The fire, at the TugEdge Outdoor & More store located just outside of Adams, started at around 8:30 P.M. on Wednesday, March 21st. Crews were JUMP TO FILE# able to knock the 032518105 flames down, but the store manager said there was enough damage inside to stay closed for the week. Multiple crews arrived and used water tanks to extinguish the flames, as this area doesn't have any fire hydrants. Jefferson County Emergency Management Director, Joe Plummer, said that much of the store's inventory seemed to be okay. "The equipment doesn't look to be as bad, other than some smoke and water damage at this point," he said. "It's more to the structure, type thing." So far investigators haven't determined what started the fire. Tenants in an upstairs apartment were able to escape safely and the store hoped to re-open the following week. - BRIAN BERKEY

Firefighters outside of the store.


Boght F.D. Receives Donation of Life-Saving Equipment Colonie, NY - The Boght Community Fire Department now has a way to rescue pets in the event of a structure fire. The department recently received a donation of pet oxygen masks from Invisible Fence Inc. The company has a program known as “Project Breathe". The goal JUMP TO FILE# of the program, ac- 031518101 cording to officials, is to ensure that fire departments and rescue units across the country have the life-saving equipment they need to save pets. For Boght, the company has donated three kits, each containing a small, medium and large pet mask. One kit will be placed on each of the department's trucks. Although the U-S Fire Administration doesn't keep official statistics, industry sources estimate that between 40,000 and 150,000 pets die in fires nationwide each year, primarily due to smoke inhalation. - MIKE CAREY


Members of the Boght FD with Invisible Fence of the Tri-Cities owner, Kim Bellizzi, after the company donated pet oxygen masks to the department.

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

May, 2018



May, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


1st Responder Newspape er features EMERGENCY SERVICES RELA ATED TATTOOS


Two-Alarm Fire Heavily Damages Apartment Building, Displacing Residents in South Troy

John Thomas submitted this tattoo, saying "I had it completed in one sitting on March 22, 2018. It took 6 hours to complete. I have been in emergency services since 1981 with a few different departments, and I was also an EMT and Police Officer before going back to fire. I've been a firefighter with the current township for 28 years. This is the only tattoo I will be getting. I returned from Ground Zero from my last shift and wanted to do something for all of my fallen brothers; yes I know it took me a few years to find someone this good. The top has my personal logo that I live by, "No Guts No Glory". If you don't have the guts to do the job, you don't get to see the look on someone's face after you just saved one of their loved ones. The medals don't mean anything to me, I have actually turned down a few over the years. The money means nothing but paying bills. I do this because I love the job. I love to see the looks on people's faces when we come out and the fire is out, and the family is safe."

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



Troy, NY - On March 6th around 8:06 P.M., the city of Troy Fire Department responded to Box Alarm 6340 for an alarm of fire at 573 1st Street, Apartment 3N, in South Troy. The caller reported smoke coming from JUMP TO FILE# the furnace. En- 030718113 gine-6 arrived on scene to a threestory, multi-family apartment building with a reported heavy smoke condition on the third-floor. Engine-6 made their way to the third-floor and started to try to find the source of the heavy smoke condition. Engine-3 arrived on scene, connected to the hydrant and laid a supply line to Engine-6. Engine-6’s officer transmitted the Signal 30. Firefighters raced down the stairs and stretched a handline back to the third-floor where they had heavy fire on the "Bravo" and "Charlie" sides of the building. Car-4 transmitted the second-alarm, bringing in Engine-2, which was the only engine left in the city of Troy. Truck-1 also responded to the scene. This left the Troy Fire Department completely out of engines to cover the city of Troy. Engine-6’s crew had heavy fire in the rear of the building and heavy smoke pushing from the cockloft. Truck-2’s crew went to the roof and started to vent the building. Firefighters mounted an aggressive interior attack, quickly knocking down the heavy fire. Firefighters on the roof reported that they had smoke and heat pushing from the vent holes, but as the crew inside brought the fire under control, the smoke and heat dissipated quickly. Crews on scene went to the


third-floor and started to conduct overhaul of the heavily damaged third-floor. All of the residents from the building made it out safely. The fire is currently under investigation. Car-1 requested the

Red Cross to the scene for 20 residents that were displaced by the fire. - JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER

General Municipal Law 209-B or Not to B EMS ISSUE


Running an ambulance service is expensive, this is obvious to EMS agencies, fire based ambulance squads and several legislators. But there is a dispute about how to remedy this in Albany for fire based-EMS. However, what may benefit each agency may also have a devastating effect on the people that these agencies service. According to New York’s current law, fire departments do not have the right to bill insurance companies for transporting patients to hospitals even if the ambulance response is provided by their department. Fire departments that are most impacted by this law are seeing the money designated to train and staff EMS crews dwindling. Their argument is that without the additional revenue, it is less likely to be able to continue timely response to emergency calls. The NYS Association of Fire Chiefs president John Sroka said, “EMS calls require a significant investment in time, training and personnel, and it is critical that fire departments are able to recover the associated costs, just as every other EMS provider in New York state already can.” Other associations and politicians across the state have added similar comments alluding to declining volunteerism and rising operating costs. The conundrum exists though because there is an existing law on the books (more than a decade old) that states, “Fees and charges prohibited. Emergency and general ambulance service authorized pursuant to this section shall be furnished without cost to the person served.” These words are part of the NYS General Municipal Law 209B regarding fire department based ambulance service. “Currently, fire districts are prohibited from billing Medicare for EMS services rendered. Because this prohibition exists, Advanced Life Support agencies who “intercept” with Basic Life Support agencies, in rural communities, are permitted to bill Medicare for this service (Medicare ALS intercept exemption). If this legislation be passed, this Medicare exemption is no longer in effect resulting in thousands of elderly and disabled citizens losing their Medicare ALS intercept benefit,” according to the NYS Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Association (NYSVARA) 2017 Statement of Opposition to Changes in General Municipal Law 209-B. “NYSVARA believes this legislation would place undue hardship on rural residents of the state who, as a result of this change, would now be responsible to pay the ALS agency out of their pockets which could be hundreds of dollars.”

In February, 2018, NYSVARA’s Michael J. Mastrianni, Jr., past President and Director of Legislative Affairs, sent out a plea for help from colleagues. Here’s a few quotes from his letter, “There was an agreement reached many years ago with Medicare that they would pay ALS services for ALS Intercept in rural counties in New York (over 20 counties). The stipulation was that fire districts would not bill for EMS service. This prohibition is in General Municipal Law Section 209-B. Bills have been introduced in the Legislature, S363B/A07717B, that will change one word … prohibit to permit. Should these bills be enacted, and fire districts are permitted to bill, the Medicare patients in rural counties will lose this Medicare benefit. There are tens of thousands of senior citizen Medicare patients who can least afford it, and who need it the most, will have to pay

for ALS service out of their pockets, or worse, not call EMS.” Mastrianni continues, “What the fire service is not telling anyone is that there is a way they can bill. They can change their governance and separate out their EMS administratively and they can bill. Many fire services have done this already. They are billing and the Medicare benefit is not affected. It takes a little bit of time and there is some cost for an attorney. The Bureau of EMS can provide assistance. …Again, it does not matter to us who bills. It DOES matter who is hurt in the process.” As of the writing of this article, S363B/A07717B is still pending. Constituents should contact their legislators to express their concerns and preferences. New York residents deserve reliable and skilled EMS response, and they also deserve the ability to afford vital life-saving care.


May, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


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Newburgh, NY - Winona Lake firefighters work the scene of a multi-vehicle MVA on Route 17K on February 9th.

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May, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Congratulates 23 Graduates of New York State’s Fire Protection Specialist Academy Class Albany, NY - On March 23rd, the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Fire Prevention and Control introduced 23 graduates of its Fire Protection Specialist Academy Class at a JUMP TO FILE# ceremony held at 032618114 the Empire State Plaza in Albany. The class consists of 23 Fire Protection Specialists who completed a 14-week training program at various locations across the state. The training provided each specialist with instruction on a wide variety of aspects related to fire protection, prevention and safety. Many of the graduates will support the state’s new Swiftwater and Flood Rescue training venue at the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany. “Congratulations to our new graduates on their well-earned achievement,” said Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger L. Parrino, Sr. “I also want to thank their family members and friends for their love, understanding and support of our newest first responders who continue to serve New York State and its citizens day or night.” “I commend these 26 new Fire Protection Specialists who come from across the State and bring with them a myriad of skills, backgrounds and experiences,” said State Fire Administrator Francis Nerney. “Those skills and experiences, coupled with their 14 weeks of training, have prepared them well to join the ranks of the Office of Fire Prevention and Control.” Graduating are: -Seth Armstrong, Inspections & Investigation Branch (Poughkeepsie) -Frank Balys, Special Opera-

tions Branch (State Preparedness Training Center, Oriskany (SPTC)) -John Bord III, Special Operations Branch (SPTC) -Garrett Dean, Special Operations Branch (SPTC) -Ronald Dittmar, Special Operations Branch (SPTC) -David Dye, Special Operations Branch (SPTC) -Benjamin Ecker, Special Operations Branch (SPTC) -Andrew Fischer, Inspections & Investigation Branch (Buffalo) -Erik Hines, Inspections & Investigation Branch (Binghamton) -Mark Hoy, Inspections & Investigation Branch (Potsdam) -Robert Johnson, Fire Operations & Training Branch (Montour Falls) -Ben Lattanzio, Special Operations Branch (SPTC) -John Makin, Special Operations Branch (SPTC) -Matthew Martin, Special Operations Branch (SPTC) -George Massarotti, Special Operations Branch (SPTC) -Samuel Maxsween, Special Operations Branch (SPTC) -Patrick McNeil, Special Operations Branch (SPTC) -Jeffery Mondo, Special Operations Branch (SPTC) -Albert Moxham, Special Operations Branch (SPTC) -Jason Murray, Inspections & Investigation Branch (Oneonta) -Kyle Rudolphsen, Special Operations Branch (Albany) -Nicholas Ruffle, Special Operations Branch (SPTC) -Corey Zydanowicz, Fire Operations & Training Branch (Montour Falls) Training classes included: Basic Structural Collapse Operations; Water Rescue Awareness; Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Awareness; ICS-300; Fire Mutual Aid Resource Management; Live Fire Training;



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High Winds Cause Tractor-Trailer to Flip in Seneca Castle Seneca Castle, NY - On April 4th, personnel from Seneca Castle Fire Department and Finger Lakes Ambulance responded to County Road 20 for an overturned tractor-trailer. High winds forced the tractor-trailer to tip onto its side. The driver self-extricated with the help of a ladder and was then checked over by ambulance crews. The FD went back into service a short time later.

May, 2018



May, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY

Barking Dogs Alert Bystander to Structure Fire in Jamestown Jamestown, NY - At 9:34 P.M. on March 15th, the Jamestown Fire Department was dispatched to Willard Street for a reported structure fire. Car 1 went on scene and reported a working structure fire. At 9:38 P.M., an off shift of 15 plus 1 JUMP TO FILE# 031618100 was called in. Flames and smoke from the fire could be seen from the corner of Bishop and Crescent Streets. Fire Chief Harvey said the initial call indicated that the house was occupied but when fire crews arrived, they found nobody inside. A witness stated that he saw flames shooting out of the fully engulfed house and credits barking dogs with helping him notice the fire. He then had his mom call 9-1-1 to report it. The blaze destroyed the home, but there were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation. - JOHN SMITH



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May, 2018



May, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY



Unattended Child Causes Store Fire in Utica Utica, NY - At approximately 8:45 P.M. on March 1st, the Utica Fire Department was called to 710 Horatio Drive, the North Utica Walmart, located on the city's north side. The caller reported a working fire in the clothing department. Utica was struck for a box alarm, responding with one Ladder Company, one Ambulance, one Tact Truck and three Engines to the scene, with UPD for crowd control. Upon arrival, store employees notified fire personnel that the fire was in the clothing section of the store, but had already been put out. A passerby, who happened to be a former fireman, saw the fire and jumped right into action. He

JUMP TO FILE #040318127 smothered the flames out and then utilized an extinguisher to finish it off before units arrived. A member of the department stated that the fire is believed to have been started accidentally by a child left unattended with a lighter, but the exact cause of the fire is under investigation. Units on scene removed the burned items and ventilated the store. Both the store and the units resumed normal operations a short time later. - ZACHARY MARICLE

Video reviews by John Malecky

Countdown to Calamity (1971) By Quality Information Publishers Available from: FSP Books & Videos 188 Central Street, #4 Hudson, MA 01749-1330 1-800-522-8528 Price: $18.99 (DVD) This DVD is 26 minutes in length. It is narrated coverage of a massive fire from 1970 which started in Oakland, California. Though it seemed to be contained,

Sullivan County, NY - It was a bitter cold day and pouring rain, but 11 recently certified ice rescue technicians had only one thing on their mind as they responded to various scenarios presented to them during a recent training event; the safe rescue of victims assigned to their response. Any number of dangerous, lifethreatening emergency situations can happen in an instant as individuals head outside to enjoy the fun and recreational adventures offered in the outdoor beauty. Fortunately, there are volunteers who devote much of their time to being ready for such incidents in all types of weather and conditions, including local ice rescues. Highland Lake Fire Chief Warren Wagner, along with other trainers and firefighting volunteers, give up many hours of their time to train and be sure they are ready for the

JUMP TO FILE #032318112 diverse emergencies that can happen in all seasons. This includes the unique responses posed in the cold of winter. Quick, skilled responses are vital to saving ice rescue victims. However, stressing the importance of following all firefighter safety precautions is a number one focus for Wagner and other trainers as they regularly instruct and conduct realistic exercises both in the classroom and on the ice. “We use a number of tools and procedures, making sure enough responders are in all positions needed to safely carry out any ice rescue. There are very specific procedures that have to be followed to safely rescue a victim while making sure rescuers are safe at all

times,” said Wagner, who is also Sullivan County’s Dive Task Force Coordinator. Eleven students from multiple fire departments were recently certified as Ice Rescue Technicians after demonstrating the required skills and knowledge in carrying out multiple ice rescue scenarios on Sand Lake in Sullivan County, NY. Despite bitter temperatures and pouring rain, the class was carried out over nearly a full day on the lake. Like any communities, those served by the most recently certified rescuers hope the skills learned in this winter’s class are never needed. But if they are called upon, these firefighting volunteers are fully ready to respond and safely use their skills and techniques, giving their best effort to saving lives. - SHARON SIEGEL


Countdown to Calamity (1971) VIDEO REVIEW

Highland Lake FD Sponsors Ice Rescue Technician Class

the high winds which periled that state spread the fire from north to south, spreading the joint firefighting forces so thin that mutual aid had to be called in. This was a very difficult story to review because the scenes changed so fast and in spite of the excellent narration, notes just could not be taken quickly enough to keep up. It was exhausting to even watch this devastation, especially if you thought of the relentless fight that these forces put forth. All of the fire scenes show ruins! There is footage of the operations centers and their dispatching activities. Camp crews were also in abundance. These were the infantry so to speak, whose manual labor helped other ground and air operations to bring this conflagration so to speak, to a halt. It is an exceptional report that viewers can appreciate.

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Rock Tavern, NY - Coldenham FD was dispatched to a snowmobile accident involving a subject with a head injury on Ridge Road around 7:30 P.M. on March 8th. Coldenham Command arrived but could not locate the subject. Orange County 9-1-1 gave direction to where the subject was. Coldenham Command advised that it was in Maybrook Fire District, resulting in Maybrook FD being dispatched. New Windsor Police arrived and Vails Gate FD was also dispatched. The subject was located on State Route 207 on the side of Ridge Road, inside State Forest Preserve. New Windsor EMS requested a helicopter to a landing zone on Apple Court. Vails Gate set up the landing zone. The subject was transported to Apple Court by EMS and then transferred to a Medivac unit. New Windsor Police are investigating the accident.

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Selkirk F.D. Installs 2018 Officers Castleton-on-Hudson, NY - On the evening of Saturday, March 10th, the Selkirk Fire Department held its annual Installation Dinner at the Birch Hill Estate in Castleton-on-Hudson, NY. Our Emcee for the evening was Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, who has been a great friend to our department, and is also a past member. His family is a large part of our department’s history. Some highlights of the evening included a presentation to Past Chief Bill Asprion of his new Past Chief badges and helmet, given with a display stand from Paul Conway Shields. Chief Joe Michaniw was presented with a plaque in recognition of his past years as 1st Assistant of the District where he worked extremely hard as the District Training Officer. Past Commissioner Barak Strock was not in attendance, but was recognized with a plaque for his past years of service on the Board of Fire Commissioners. Bethlehem Lutheran Church

JUMP TO FILE #040518100 Pastor and Department Chaplain, Mark Mueller, was presented with a plaque for all of his support to our department over the years. Service Award Recognition was given to the following department members: 40 Years: Firefighter Barry Morehouse 30 Years: 1st Asst. Chief Tom Neri 25 Years: Firefighter George Morehouse 20 Years: Past Commissioners Paul Miller & Dale Richter 15 Years: Commissioner George TenEyck 10 Years: Co. 2 President Ed Ward 5 Years: FF Chelsie Alderson, 1st Lt. Jeremy Benassi, FF Jimmy Bercharlie, FF Zack Myers, & FF Erica Wegrzyn



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May, 2018

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Moments after the fire department's arrival.


Tupper Lake Firefighters Battle Blaze Tupper Lake, NY - At 12:19 P.M. on March 30th, Tupper Lake was toned out to a structure fire with possible entrapment on Prospect Street in the village. Engines 163 and 165 responded. Command arrived on scene to find smoke coming from the front of the structure. An elderly woman was sitting just inside of the front door. A family member was trying vainly to get the woman out. The Fire Chief entered, picked the woman up and carried her to a waiting wheelchair outside of the home. A few minutes later, the bottom floor flashed and flames shot out the front door and windows. A second-alarm was transmit-

JUMP TO FILE #033118102 ted for more manpower and a special call for Tower 164. Piercefield VFD responded to the scene with their Cascade System. Saranac Lake dropped 800-feet of LDH and stood by to feed Tower 164. The Paul Smith Gabriels VFD stood by at the Tupper Lake station. The Red Cross was called in to assist the homeowners. The Tupper Lake Police, EMS and Electric Departments also provided valuable assistance at the scene.




You might expect EMTs to be relatively safe when dealing with patients -- after all, they are there to help. But in fact, EMTs face a lot of danger in the field, and they do so without the weapons and authority that police officers have. EMTs have been hit with cinder blocks, stabbed by syringes (often still filled with drugs), chased by dogs and shot at on a regular basis. In Boston, for instance, 28 percent of total EMT injuries in 2006 were the result of violent assaults.

Two-Car MVA in Newburgh Sends One Person to Hospital

Newburgh, NY - The Winona Lake FD was dispatched to a two-vehicle car accident on Route 300 and Meadow Hill Road on March 20th. Firefighters spread speedy dry on fluids on the roadway and disconnected batteries in the vehicles. Mobile Life was dispatched to the scene and one subject was taken to St. Luke's Hospital. The Town of Newburgh Police directed traffic around the scene and are investigating the cause.



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May, 2018



May, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - NY


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Newburgh, NY - Dan Leghorn FD and the Ladies Auxiliary, along with Boy Scouts from Troop 10, held a "Breakfast with the Easter Bunny" at the firehouse on March 25th. The Easter bunny went around to all the children and talked to them. The Ladies Auxiliary waited on the tables as the firefighters dished out eggs, pancakes, bacon, coffee, tea and orange juice.


Albany, NY - Albany Fire Department Battalion Chief Greg Sokaris working at the scene of a three-alarm house fire on March 23rd.


Port Jervis, NY - Volunteers who recently completed the Port Jervis sponsored Ice Rescue Technician class, by department, are: Mill Rift FD: Bobby Mills, Randy Richards, Brock Richards, Chuck Pranski, Robert Mills and Corrina Catalano; Port Jervis FD: Bryce Sotello, Bill Brewster, George Padgett, James B. Fuller, Sr., Tyler Kowinsky, Justin Brewster, James Fuller, Jr. and Shane Fuller; Lumberland FD: Phillip Talley, David Venturini, Jacob Knibbs and Nazariy Kekis; Huguenot FD: Meghan McGregor, Justin Gibbs, Zachary Conklin and Scott Shauger; Sparrowbush FD: Andrew Witkowski and Nick Pagano.


Levittown, NY - On February 27th, WLVAC was activated for four alarms within one hour. Their quick acting crews were able to handle all of these alarms and provide quality and timely care to the patients. Many of the dedicated members responded from their houses to answer the calls. All four scenes were expertly coordinated by Captain Christopher McGuire. A great job to all!

Middle Grove, NY - Middle Grove Deputy Chief Edward Petkus working a recent incident.


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May, 2018

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New Windsor FD Holds 82nd Annual Installation Dinner

Newburgh, NY - The New Windsor Fire Department held their 82nd Annual Installation Dinner on March 3rd at the Powelton Club in the Town of Newburgh. The 2017 Chief's Award and Top Responder acknowledgement was received by Robert Thompson.


Poughkeepsie Home Severely Damaged by Blaze Poughkeepsie, NY - On March 31st at approximately 12:45 A.M., Arlington firefighters were dispatched to 2170 New Hackensack Road for the report of a fire in a bedroom. The first-due engine arrived within four minutes and encountered heavy fire and smoke in the single-family residence with solar panels on the roof. The fire, investigated by the Arlington Fire District Fire Investigation Division, determined the cause to be from a failure of electrical distribution equipment, causing extensive damage to the

JUMP TO FILE #040318105 structure. Five occupants and a dog were in the dwelling at the time of the fire. The sleeping occupants and the K-9 were alerted by a working smoke detector and self-evacuated prior to Arlington's arrival. A total of six residents and the dog were displaced as a result of the blaze and were tended to by representatives of the Red Cross. According to Arlington Chief Tory Gallante, his department was

assisted at the scene by the New Hamburg FD, Dutchess County Emergency Response and Mobile Life Support Services. The Village of Wappingers Falls, New Hackensack and Pleasant Valley Fire Departments relocated to cover all Arlington stations. No injuries to personnel or civilians were reported and all units were back in service around 6:00 A.M. - TODD BENDER


Manchester FD Responds to Trailer Fire Manchester, NY - On March 26th, the Manchester FD, along with mutual aid departments, were called to a trailer fire on Route 96. Firefighters faced exposure problems with both trailers on each side of the main trailer that was on fire. The main trailer was a total loss.


Firefighters Quickly Extinguish Electrical Fire at Livonia Grocery Store Livonia, NY - Livonia, Hemlock and Lakeville Fire Departments responded to West’s Shur-Fine Food Mart at 1 Main Street in the village of Livonia on March 29th around 3:00 P.M., for the report of a structure fire. Crews arriving on scene discovered that a panel box near the grocery store’s deli section had caught fire and was filling the store with smoke. The panel box continued to spark after crews arrived. The fire was quickly extinguished. Crews from National Grid responded, as did members of the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office, Livingston County Emergency Management and Livonia EMS. Firefighters ventilated smoke from the building and the store was able to re-open a short time later, although the bakery and deli sections remained closed until repairs could be made. All of the store's employees and customers were able to safely exit the building. There were no injuries.

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May, 2018

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Two-Truck MVA with Injuries at Alder Creek Golf Course Alder Creek, NY - The Forestport FD was called to State Highway 12 in the area of the Alder Creek Golf Course on March 10th for reports of an MVA. Arriving units found a black GMC and gray Ford pickup, both with heavy front end damage, blocking JUMP TO FILE# lanes in both the 040318129 northbound and southbound sides of the road. Both drivers were able to remove themselves, but a passenger in the gray pickup was complaining of injuries and unable to exit the vehicle due to a jammed door. Firefighters were able to quickly extricate the woman from the passenger seat. It is believed that a merging truck cut off another truck with a trailer who was not able to stop in time or slow down and clipped the front corners of both trucks, causing the accident. Two patients were transported by Boonville EMS and Old Forge EMS to local hospitals for minor injuries and evaluations. Forestport Fire was assisted on the scene by Boonville EMS and Old Forge EMS, as well as the NYS Police and Oneida County Sheriff's Office. -ZACHARY MARICLE


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FDNY Thousands Gather for Funeral of Fallen FDNY Firefighter New York, NY - Cardinal Timothy Dolan presided over the service on March 27th, comparing Michael Davidson to Jesus, in that he gave his life for others. He said the blood of Davidson, who hailed from a family of JUMP TO FILE# firefighters, con- 032718112 tained "the DNA of the FDNY," and his name "radiates goodness, valor and virtue as sparkling as the badge he wears." Davidson, 37, leaves behind a wife and four young children, who Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said will always be part of the FDNY family. "Your children will grow up knowing their father was a true hero," Nigro told Eileen Davidson, Michael's wife, while holding back tears. The 15-year veteran died on Thursday, March 22nd after he became separated from his unit while battling a five-alarm blaze in a Harlem apartment building where a new movie starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin was being filmed. He was found with his oxygen mask detached from the tank. The medical examiner ruled smoke inhalation as the cause of death. Throngs of white-gloved firefighters in dress uniform stood at attention along Fifth Avenue as Davidson's casket arrived at St. Patrick's Cathedral on a firetruck adorned with his name and blackand-purple bunting. Traffic came to a standstill along the route, with American flags draped overhead. Michael was recognized several times throughout his career for his bravery.

Thousands of family members, friends and firefighters gathered Tuesday to say a final farewell to fallen FF Michael Davidson.




Fallen FDNY FF, Michael Davidson.


The casket carrying FDNY firefighter Michael Davidson is walked out of St. Patrick's Cathedral.


May, 2018

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Second-Alarm Fatal Fire in Staten Island Staten Island, NY - On March 19th at 11:34 A.M., a 10-75 was transmitted for a fire in a vacant, three-story, 20x40 private dwelling, located at 13 Morningstar Road. Upon arrival, firefighters found fire on the second and third floors, as well as in the attic. A second-alarm was soon transmitted at 11:49 A.M. by Division 8. Four lines were stretched and in operation at the height of the fire. Division 8 transmitted a 10-45-1 (fatality) and a 10-41-1 (suspicious fire) at 12:47 P.M. The fire was then declared under control.

FDNY EMS Station 44, located on Rockaway Avenue in Brooklyn.


FDNY Engine 234/Ladder 123/Battalion 38, located on St. Johns Place in Brooklyn.


FDNY Rescue 2, located on Bergen Street in Brooklyn.



Car Versus Building with Injuries in Staten Island

Staten Island, NY - On April 5th at 8:05 P.M., a motorist hit the side of a medical building at 4434 Amboy Road, in Staten Island. FDNY units removed three occupants with two minor and one serious injury. FDNY Rescue 5 and the Collapse Unit was special called in to board up the side of the building.

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May, 2018


FDNY Two FDNY Members Among Those Killed in Iraq Blackhawk Crash


Driver Suffers Medical Episode, Crashes into Staten Island Building

Staten Island, NY - At 9:30 P.M. on April 2nd, FDNY units responded to a report of a car into a building. A motorist suffered a medical episode when he crashed his car into a building in Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island. The building was badly damaged, so the building department was notified to inspect the its stability. Richmond Engine 1 was down the street from the car accident and responded as well.

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The NYC Fire Museum is the former quarters of Engine 30, which was built in 1904. The museum is located at 278 Spring Street in Manhattan.

New York, NY On March 16th, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fire Com- JUMP TO FILE# missioner Daniel A. 031618105 Nigro announced the deaths of Lieutenant Christopher J. Raguso of Division 13 in Queens and Fire Marshal Christopher T. “Tripp” Zanetis of the Bureau of Fire Investigation. Lt. Raguso and Fire Marshal Zanetis died in an American military helicopter crash in Iraq on Thursday, March 15th. Lt. Raguso is a 13-year veteran of the Department; Fire Marshal Zanetis is a 10-year veteran. “Today, we mourn the deaths of FDNY Lieutenant Christopher J. Raguso and FDNY Fire Marshal Christopher T. “Tripp” Zanetis, who were killed in an American military helicopter crash in Iraq on Thursday, March 15th,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “They are truly two of New York City’s bravest, running into danger to protect and defend others, both in New York City and in combat overseas. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to their families, loved ones, and fellow service members and FDNY members.” “Lt. Raguso and Fire Marshal Zanetis bravely wore two uniforms in their extraordinary lives of service, as New York City Firefighters and as members of the United States Armed Forces,” said Commissioner Nigro. “The hearts and prayers of the entire Department are with their loved ones and with the families of their five fellow service members who lost their lives defending our country.” Lieutenant Raguso was appointed as a Firefighter in March of 2005 and assigned to Ladder Company 113 in Flatbush, Brooklyn. In September of 2016, he was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to Battalion 50 in Queens. On six different occasions he was cited for bravery and life-saving actions as an individual firefighter, or as part of a unit. Fire Marshal Zanetis was appointed Firefighter in September of 2004 and assigned to Engine Company 28 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. In 2007 he transferred to Ladder Company 11, located in the same firehouse. In April of 2013, he was promoted to Fire Marshal and assigned to the Bureau of Fire Investigation’s Citywide South in Brooklyn. In 2014, he was recognized for his bravery as part of an investigative unit. Lt. Raguso and Fire Marshal Zanetis are the 1,148th and 1,149th members of the Department to make the Supreme Sacrifice in the line-of-duty. The last member of the Department to die

Lt. Christopher J. Raguso


Fire Marshal Christopher T. Zanetis

in the line of duty was Firefighter William N. Tolley of Ladder Company 135, who died on April 20th, 2017. The last member of the Department to make the Supreme Sacrifice while in active military service was Firefighter Christian P. Engledrum, who was killed in action on November 29, 2004 in Iraq. Currently, 62 FDNY personnel are on extended military orders in the branches of the United States Armed Forces, serving around the


world. There are more than 1,400 FDNY members who are military reservists or veterans. Lt. Raguso of Commack, New York, is survived by his wife, Carmella, and their two daughters, ages 6 and 5. Fire Marshal Zanetis is survived by his parents, John and Sarah, of Carmel, Indiana. - DAVID BURNS


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