New York News

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Man dies in Cicero house fire

A man died Tuesday when a Cicero home caught on fire, police said. A man in his 70s was inside 5898 Ladd Road when a fire started, said Sgt. James Meyers, of the Cicero Police Department. The fire was reported at 11:31 a.m. Firefighters from multiple departments spent more than two hours working to put out the blaze. The fire was reported to Onondaga County 911 by a passerby who saw smoke coming from the brick structure, Meyers said. When fire crews arrived, the house was fully engulfed in flames, he said. Meyers said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Ladd Road between Mud Mill Road and Bartell Road will remain closed for several hours as crew continue to battle the fire, Meyers said.
Syracuse Post-Standard &

Orange County Executive urges Newburgh to use additional sales tax money to retain firefighters

Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus came to the Newburgh main firehouse on Tuesday to urge city officials to spend the $536,000 in additional sales tax revenue he gave them to fund the 12 firefighters who are to be laid off in July when federal funding expires. The county exec said the money would be more than enough to pay for the men through the end of the year. “One of the shortfalls we see is with the firefighters," Neuhaus said. " It’s about $400,000 plus. We just presented a check for $536,000. The City of Newburgh could utilize that money that they have gotten in the sales tax revenues to keep those firefighters rather than lay them off and work on the fire protection.” Acting Chief Terry Ahlers would like to see the men stay on the job, but he understands the reality of Newburgh’s financial situation.
Mid-Hudson News

FDNY Marks 60 Years Since Fatal Paper Company Blaze

Sixty years ago, Firefighter Donald Blaskovich left a theatre where "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" was staged to witness an all-too-real living hell. The 85-year-old FDNY retiree, a member of the now defunct Engine Company 13, is the last firefighter alive to have fought the deadly blaze at the Elkins Paper Company on Wooster St. near West Houston St. on Feb. 14, 1958, in a part of the city once dubbed "Hell's 100 Acres." It was a heartbreaking Valentine's Day for the FDNY: Two firefighters and four fire patrol officers -- New York Board of Fire Underwriters employees whose job was to run into burning commercial buildings to salvage as much equipment and property as they could -- were killed when the building collapsed.

New Rochelle Fire Dept. sends new recruits to training academy

Next month, the Fire Department will send five new recruits for training at the Westchester County Fire Training Center in Valhalla. Starting March 19, the recruits will spend 19 weeks in training to learn basic firefighting skills. Fire Chief Louis DiMeglio said the department will pay for the cost of tuition, roughly $3,500 per recruit. While in training, recruits receive a base salary that starts at $38,000. The cost of training and the base salary come from the department's budget, which comes to just over $31 million for 2018. The department accepts recruits when necessary to replace retirees, DiMeglio said. The last time the department accepted recruits was last year. All of the new recruits are New Rochelle residents. There are currently 155 firefighters in the city's fire department.
NY Journal News (

Four new firefighters appointed at Lockport Fire Department

Four new firefighters were sworn at at Lockport Fire Department on Tuesday. At the same time, the department honored four retiring firefighters who gave a combined 75 years of service to the city. The new hires — Peter Burke, Nicholas Kaszuba, John Messer and Corey Webster — are coming on board under a SAFER grant and will supplant the four firefighters who started with LFD a year ago and are now moving onto the regular employees' roster. The new hires were selected by the Board of Fire Commissioners from a pool of 14 candidates. Burke, 28, is a city resident and is the father of two children, Lucas and Alivia. He spent the past nine years working for American Medical Response as an emergency medical provider, at the paramedic level for the past six years.
Union-Sun & Journal (Lockport)

Town of Oswego firefighters try to restore 9/11 mural with mayonnaise

When mural artist Norman Roth climbed the wall of the town of Oswego Fire Hall in 2005, a solemn tribute to the heroes of the 9/11 tragedy flowed from his heart to his hands. The job was personal. Roth is a veteran and a longtime member of the fire department. "I know the guys in the fire department and that dedication and that concern with people and everyday life," Roth explains. "I just figured these firemen in New York (City) were probably the same kind of people." The bright symbol of brotherhood he created has greeted members of his crew for more than a decade. But with age and sunlight, their small piece of history would slowly fade under a chalky film. "I just thought five months worth of work was out the window," he says. "I hung on scaffolding to do this thing and I'm not that young anymore."

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

City of Tonawanda firefighters union pushes for more manpower

Engine 3 in the City of Tonawanda is facing some major issues. The firefighters union says they do not have enough manpower to fight fires. The full-time firefighters are racking up thousands of dollars in overtime and it’s unclear if the city has enough money in their budget to pay for the shortfalls. “You’re only guaranteed to have five people show up to a fire, we rely heavily on the off duty guys and the volunteers,” said Dennis Angelo, Local 859 union president. The lack of firefighters comes after two firefighters retired last year, leaving the city with only 24 full-time firefighters. In 2015, a similar situation unraveled when there wasn’t enough manpower to staff the firehouse.
WIVB-TV Buffalo

24 hours in the FDNY firehouse that never sleeps

It's long past midnight in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and firefighter Mark Merrell of Engine 255 is explaining to me why medals aren't important and being called a hero doesn't matter all that much. "What you try to achieve is for somebody to say, 'you're a good fireman.' That's probably the biggest compliment you can get," he says. "And that don't come easy." The firehouse kitchen erupts in laughter. Mark smiles, because it's a tough crowd and he knows I know that. But I'm spending twenty-four hours with the firefighters of Engine Company 255 and Ladder Company 157 -- one of the busiest firehouses in New York - and I'm ready for pretty much anything. The FDNY granted us total access and even provided a chase car with lights, siren and a driver. Eyewitness News photographer Josh Hartmann and I followed them on virtually every run. There was just one restriction: Don't show the cooking. Why? "It's corny," they told me. (But the chicken marsala was excellent, I have to say.)

Delaware County apartment fire leaves two children dead, man injured

Two children reported trapped in a burning building were declared dead later, and a man was hospitalized with burns after a fire on Dehning Road in the town early Friday, authorities said. A boy, 1, and a girl, 3, died, the Delaware County Department of Emergency Services said. Authorities withheld the victims’ names Friday and said the cause of the blaze at the four-unit apartment building is under investigation. State police at Oneonta confirmed that two children were declared dead at the scene. An adult was taken to Upstate Medical University Hospital in Syracuse for burns, troopers said. Fifty to 60 firefighters from multiple fire departments responded to the call for the blaze in the East Meredith Fire District, which was reported at about 1:45 a.m., officials said. “When you left East Meredith, you could see the glow in the sky,” according to David Briggs, chief of the East Meredith Fire Department.
Oneonta Daily Star

FDNY firefighter saves choking diner with Heimlich maneuver at Staten Island restaurant

A rookie firefighter’s date night dinner with his pregnant wife turned into a chance to save a life when a man started choking at a table in front of him. Stephen Cresci, 33, was having dinner at Da Noi, a popular Italian restaurant on Staten Island, on Friday night — “one last hurrah before the baby” — he explained Monday. His wife, Jennifer, is due Feb. 27. The couple finished their dinners and were about to start in on dessert, two tortonis, when Cresci said he heard someone in distress. Neighboring diner Juan Camacho was choking on a piece of lamb. “I just knew this guy was choking,” the Engine 163 firefighter said. He tried to talk to the man, who turned red and started wheezing. So Cresci jumped into action, performed the Heimlich maneuver, and with one thrust under his rib cage, dislodged a chunk of meat.
New York Daily News

Belleville Fire Department Seeks Help For New Station

For years, the Belleville Fire Department had 2 stations: Station 1 and Station 2 right across the street. But, space is tight. "It was getting difficult to put all of our apparatus in there. And we had an offer to purchase that property so we sold that property," said Vince Guarrera, station improvement committee. So now the fire department is looking to build a new 2 bay station right next door to its main station, where a vacant house currently sits. Guarrera says the department is currently in talks to acquire the property. It's all in hopes of getting to the scene of an emergency more efficiently. "We need to get all of our apparatus to the scene as quickly as possible and safely as possible. By having the station here on site, our officers are able to quickly see which apparatus have already left the station and are on scene and are able to direct the remaining apparatus safely to the scene," he said.
WWNY-TV 7 Fox 28

$4.8M coming to 6 counties to enhance emergency communication

State Senator Pam Helming announced millions in grant awards to the six counties she represents to enhance emergency communications for police, fire, and EMS. This funding will help local first responders expand their ability to communicate and respond more quickly to emergencies. “At a time when natural disasters and emergency situations are becoming increasingly frequent and more severe, it is more important than ever that we do all we can to support our local law enforcement and first responders. Providing our counties with the necessary resources and most modern communication technology will allow them to respond as quickly as possible and will help keep our first responders safe as they do their work,” Sen. Helming explained.

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