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Grand Island Fire Company News 2017

Grand Island Fire Company, Inc. Website



For Emergencies Dial 9-1-1 or 773-7508
To contact the Fire Company Dial 773-4334

Previous Fire News

Firematic Officers 2017: Fire Chief Christopher Soluri; Deputy Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski; 1st Assistant Chief Omar Sortino; 2nd Assistant Chief Daniel Mathes, Fire Captains Tim Krecisz, John Podlucky, Jourdain Benoit; EMS Captain Sean McCormick; Fire Police Captain Don Portik.

Administrative Officers 2017: President Mike Dallessandro, Vice President Brent Mendel, Recording Secretary Joanne Ciffa, Financial Secretary Nicole Gerber, Treasurer Tony Mastantuono Sr. and Sgt.-at-Arms David Khreis.

Board of Directors 2017: Gregory J. Butcher, Jeremy Pullano, Peter Sukmanowski, David Khreis, Kevin Koch, Saed Shafie, Mike Dallessandro.






MVA Injures Two Drivers - November 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   At 6:45 a.m. on Friday, November 10th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a two car MVA that occurred on West River Parkway near Third Street. Fire Chief Chris Soluri reported that a driver lost control of his vehicle which veered into oncoming traffic, crashing into another motorist. 32 year-old Daryl Nobish of Niagara Falls, NY and 52 year-old Daniel Myers of Wilson, NY sustained non life threatening injuries. They were transported to ECMS.


New Membership Category - November 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   Fire Chief Chris Soluri reports that the Grand Island Fire Company recently created a new, active volunteer EMS category, in order to provide additional opportunities for those who have a preference for caregiving within their community. This innovation represents revitalization of recruitment and retention policies which have always been a top priority for GIFC leadership.
   Although those accepted as active EMS members would receive basic exterior firefighting training, emphasis will be on EMT/paramedic certification during the first 24 months of training. In addition to fullfillment of assigned squad duties, such members would also be required to complete nine drills and six meetings per year. Those with special skills, such as nursing personnel, former firefighters, EMT's, etc, would have little if any difficulty in accomplishing these obligations.
   Anyone interested should contact Chief soluri or any other GIFC officer at 716-773-4334.


Record Crowd at Fire Prevention Open House - October 2017

Top: Sidway kindergarten students. Bottom: Firefighter Allison DeMartin takes vitals of young volunteer.

Top: From left: Firefighters Egloff, Benoit & Bower. Bottom: Firefighter Edith Racz-Thompson with five year-old Hadley.

Top: Old Glory hoisted between Sheridan Park and GIFC Ladder Trucks.
Bottom: Huge crowd waiting for live fire demonstration.

Top: Live fire demonstration.
Bottom: From left: 1st Ass't Fire Chief Omar Sortino, Commendation awardees Keith Dodge, Steve Mallais, Sam Correa, 2nd Ass't Fire Chief Dan Mathes, Fire Chief Christopher Soluri.

Top: Allison DeMartin mans the hose. Bottom: Sheriff's Department Mounted Division with students.

Story & photos by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   Grand Island Fire Company officials welcomed over 370 Sidway kindergarten students to their annual Fire Prevention Open House on Friday, October 13th. The students walked from the school on Baseline Road to fire headquarters in the morning with many volunteers on hand for safety. The morning session emphasized "Stop, Drop & Roll" safety practices, along with firefighter use of personal protective gear, EMS lifesaving demonstrations, and the handling of a 911 emergency call by a GIFC dispatcher. The students got a look at specialized fire truck tools and equipment displays.
   The evening open house had a record crowd this year. Participants included the Erie County Sheriff's Department, NYS Police, U.S. Customs & Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard, I.C.E., Brighton Volunteer Fire Company, Sheridan Park VFD, Wendelville VFD, Niagara Falls Air Base crash truck and Grand Island Town Police. The kids love hose practice and the live fire demonstration, where a simulated household fire erupts into a blazing inferno.
   Grand Island residents Keith Dodge, Steve Mallais and Sam Correa received the 2017 Fire Prevention Commendation for their quick thinking actions on April 26th, when their initial fire suppresion efforts at a neighbors property, helped prevent major damage. The GIFC was awarded a special $8000 Enbridge grant that will go towards the purchase of a Milnor "Gear Guardian" washer and Staber gear drying cabinet. These units will clean personal protective gear by extracting hazardous waste products encountered during firefighting.
   The ever popular "Ride to School" drawing winners will be announced shortly. Thanks to the Ladies Auxiliary for providing a hot dog roast and basket raffle.


Roundabout MVA Results in Injuries - October 2017


Photo by Dan Mathes
Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.

   At 12:47 p.m. on Monday, October 9th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a one car MVA at the Grand Island Blvd. and Staley Road traffic control roundabout. Ass't Fire Chief Dan Mathes reported that 50 year-old Darlene Alessandra of Grand Island apparently lost control of her vehicle while entering the roundabout, careened off the roadway and into a nearby utility pole. She was evaluated by GIFC medics for extremity injuries and transported to ECMC for followup treatment. A 10 year-old passenger sustained non life threatening injuries and was transported to Women's & Children's Hospital. A hazardous gasoline leak/spill was eliminated by the firefighters.


Grand Island Fire Company Annual Inspection - October 2017

Offical Inspection Photo-click for larger view.

From left: 2nd Ass't Fire Chief Dan Mathes, 1st Assistant Chief Omar Sortino, Deputy Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski, Fire Chief Christopher Soluri; Gary Roesch and Greg Butcher.

Photos by Karen DeMartin
Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.

    The Grand Island Fire Company annual inspection was held on Saturday, October 7th at fire headquarters. Fire Chief Chris Soluri thanked all firefighters, medics/EMT's and cadets for their contributions during 2017, saving lives and property. He noted a 5:00 a.m. fire earlier that day, reflected the competent professionalism he has been proud of throughout his tenure as chief.
    In a delayed presentation, firefighter Gary Roesch was recognized for 50 years of GIFC service. Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray noted that recent events demonstrate the value of first responders and the persistent challenges they face and residents are extremely fortunate to have GIFC volunteers to serve and protect. Thanks again to our GIFC volunteers who never waver in their sworn community protection duties.


Driver Injured in Three Car Collision - October 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    Shortly after 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 5th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a three car MVA on Grand Island Blvd. between Whitehaven and Webb Roads. Deputy Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski reported that 44 year-old Jennifer Flick of Grand Island sustained upper body injuries during a multi vehicle chain reaction collision. She was evaluated by a EMS crew and transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital. 54 year-old Judith Curtis of Amherst and 21 year-old Rachel DeNormand of Grand Island denied injuries and declined hospitalization.


Special Commendations will Highlight 2017 Fire Prevention Program - October 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    Grand Island Fire Chief Chris Soluri has announced that a special awards presentation will take place during the Fire Prevention Open House on Friday, October 13th between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at Fire Headquarters. Three individuals, Keith Dodge, Steve Mallais and Sam Correa will receive commendations for their quick thinking actions on April 26, 2017, when their initial fire suppression efforts at the burning home of a neighbor prevented major property damage. Ass't Fire Chief Dan Mathes, program coordinator, has arranged for multi-agency participation, which will include firefighting and EMS displays and demos by the GIFC, WNY Fire Service and local law enforcement.
    Firefighting and EMS teams will visit Grand Island elementary schools on October 9,10,11 & 12 to offer fire safety tips. Sidway students will visit fire headquarters on October 13th to gain firsthand knowledge of fire company operations and engage in hands on safety exercises. Students will also receive entry blanks for the highly anticipated "Ride to School in a Fire Truck" drawing, to be held during the Friday night Open House.
    A live fire demo will show visitors how firefighters tackle a fast moving interior structure fire. The GIFC Ladies Auxiliary will provide refreshments for purchase, including hot dog/hamburger roast and a popular basket raffle. Everyone is welcome to attend and meet their GIFC volunteers.


Vehicle Destroyed in Top's Parking Lot Fire - October 2017

Firefighters Ben Shaw & Joe Cosullo complete extinguishing operation.

Story & photo by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    At 4:44 p.m. on Monday, October 2nd, Grand Island firefighters responded to a vehicle fire in the Top's Market parking lot, 2140 Grand Island Blvd. Fire Chief Chris Soluri reported that a 1999 Grand Cherokee SUV stalled after the driver experienced a sudden engine compartment fire. GIFC Engine #4 and fire suppression crews had the fire out within two minutes after arrival on location. Chief Soluri reported that the vehicle was considered a total loss of $1500 and the cause was pinpointed as a mechanical malfunction. The driver was not injured.


Four Injured in Three Car I-190 MVA - October 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   At 3:48 p.m. on Sunday, October 1st, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a three car collision in the northbound lane of the I-190 near the Long Road interchange. Fire Chief Chris Soluri reported that eight individuals were evaluated by GIFC medics for non life-threatening upper body injuries. 52 year-old Natan Mizrahi, 50 year-old Ofit Mizrahi, 18 year-old Inbar Mizrahi and 14 year-old Givatine Israel were transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital for precautionary follow-up. Four others denied injuries and declined hospitalization.


Fire Prevention Week - September 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    The National Fire Protection Association reports that during a fire emergency "Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out", to avoid serious injury or loss of life. The NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week since 1922, in observance of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, where over 250 people lost their lives. Fire officials point out that smoke detectors provide sufficient warning for occupants of a building to evacuate without delay. It is imprerative that everyone know their home and practice life sabing drills. Children should be able to escape on their own if separated from their parents. If fire blocks one route, another one should be available. Doors should be closed after leaving to prevent oxygen rich air from entering and further spreading any fire. Once outside, NEVER go back into a burning building for any reason, your life may depend on it. Let firefighters rescue pets or retrieve valuables, as they will be a the scene within minutes.
    These messages and other fire safety tips will be brought to Grand Island elementary school students during Fire Prevention week, starting October 9, 2017. The week-long program will windup with an Open House at fire headquarters from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 13th. The evening open house includes an awesome live fire demo, and hose practice for the kids. Many agencies participated in the program including the NYS Police, Erie County Sheriff Department, Mercy Flight, Erie County Haz Mat Team, Homeland Security, City of Tonawanda Fire Department, U.S. Coast Guard, Sheridan Park VFD, Brighton VFD, Ellicott Creek VFD, and Twin City Ambulance. The Ladies Auxiliary host a hot dog sale and basket raffle.


Vehicle Destroyed by Fire in MVA - September 2017


Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    At 4:37 p.m. on Thursday, September 21st, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel and firefighters responded to a two car MVA in the northbound lane of the I-190 near the Long Road interchange. Deputy Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski reported that the two drivers, 59 year-old James Wooten of Youngstown, NY and 22 year-old Andrea Schillaci of Niagara Falls, escaped serious injury and declined hospitalization. One of the vehicles, a 2008 Subaru, was fully engulfed in flames when Engines #3, #4 and firefighting crews arrived on location. The vehicle was totally destroyed with an estimated loss of $10,000.


Mulch Fire at Jamestown Residence - September 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   Shortly before 8:00 a.m. on Monday, September 18th, Grand island firefighters responded to a Jamestown Road structure fire which was reported by several neighbors. Ass't Fire Chief Dan Mathes reported that Engines #2, 3, 4, 5 and LT6, along with fire suppression crews encountered a mulch fire near the front entrance, that ignited the vinyl siding. Erie County Sheriff Deputies initiated firefighting with a garden hose and the GIFC completed extinguishment and overhaul.
    Fortunately, the fire was confined to the exterior of the home, with an estimated damage of $1000 to the structure. Spontaneous combustion ws determined to be the cause, due to a combination of elevated temperatures and ground conditions.


GIFC Free Kids From Locked Room - September 2017

From left: Deputy Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski, Ethan, Rose and Evan Rossetti

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   Shortly before noon on Sunday, September 17th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a citizen assist call at an Autumnwood Dr. residence. Deputy Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski reported that 10 year-old Ethan and three year-old brother Evan Rossetti of Massilon, Ohio, accidentally locked themselves into an upstairs bedroom while visiting. They were freed within 10 minutes by firefighters using specialized tools to release the jammed doorknob. Mother Rose Rossetti expressed her heartfelt appreciation for the firefighters concern and professionalism during the event.


More Island MVA's - September 2017

Utility pole damage from September 9th accident.

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   At 8:20 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a two car MVA occurring on Love Road between Alt Blvd. and Baseline Road. This is the sixth motor vehicle incident within seven days. Ass't Chief Dan Mathes reported that 80 year-old Kathleen Garlapow of Grand Island was evaluated by GIFC medics for non life-threatening injuries and transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital. The other driver, 22 year-old Zach Mehlenbacher, also of Grand Island, claimed no injuries.
   Fire Chief Chris Soluri reported that Grand Island firefighters and medics have encountered four motor vehicle related incidents between September 6th and 10th. At 10:23 a.m. on Wednesday, September 6th, GIFC rescue personnel responded to an MVA in the southbound lane of I-190 at the south Grand Island Bridge. Fire Capt. John Podlucky stated that a car collided with a motorcycle, causing injury to 44 year-old Jessica Storey of Australia, the cycle passenger. She was stabilized by GIFC medics and transported to ECMC for followup treatment. The cycle operator was also transported but details were unavailable.
   At 12:41 p.m. on Saturday, September 9th, GIFC rescue personnel responded to a two car MVA at the South Bridge toll barriers. One patient was treated by Twin City Ambulance crews, while four other individuals claimed no injuries.
   At 4:34 p.m. on September 9th, GIFC rescue personnel responded to a MVA on East River Rd. near Warner Drive. 26 year-old Andrew Cerillo of Grand Island, reportedly fell asleep at the wheel, veered off the roadway, shearing off a utility pole before coming to rest about 40 feet away. The driver and two passengers, 22 year-old Sara Lakarlo and an 8 month-old child were not injured.
   At 4:13 p.m. on September 10th, GIFC rescue personnel responded to a report of a vehicle striking a deer in the southbound lane of the I-190 near mile marker 15.4. 35 year-old Ravc Medhirea and 63 year-old Stisdryuk Medhirea of Irving, TX claimed no injuries after evaluation by the GIFC medics.


Driver Hospitalized in Love Rd. MVA - September 2017

Wreckage from Love Road incident

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   At 11:16 p.m. on Wednesday, September 6th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a two car MVA on Love Road near Kaegebein Elementary School. Fire Capt. John Podlucky stated that one driver, 58 year-old Mary Sandonato of Niagara Falls, NY was treated by GIFC medics for upper body injuries and transported by ambulance to ECMC. The other driver, 23 year-old Ryan Boye of Grand Island was uninjured.


Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle - September 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   At 6:36 p.m. on Tuesday, September 5th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a traffic injury incident on Bedell Road in front of the Country Glen Apartments. Deputy Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski reported that 32 year-old Robert Shoemaker of Grand Island was found lying face down in a roadside ditch after being struck by a car as he walked in front of oncoming traffic. He was treated by a GIFC EMS crew for upper and lower bodily injuries, stabilized and transported by ambulance to ECMC trauma unit. The driver of the vehicle, 54 year-old Karen Gang of Grand Island was uninjured.


Mower Destroyed in Mechanical Fire - September 2017

Destroyed lawnmower after fire.

Story & photo by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    Shortly before 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 1st, Grand Island Fire Company firefighters responded to a report of a small outside fire on Whitehaven Road, between Sixth St. and Alt. Blvd. Deputy Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski reported that homeowner Craig Hanesworth was cutting his lawn when the riding mower suddenly burst into flames. The fire was extinguished within five minutes using a heavy duty deluge gun from Engine #4.
   Hanesworth was not injured and no structural exposures were involved. Damage to the mower was estimated at $1000. GI Fire officials recommend an annual mower inspection/tune-up as this is the second mower fire in eight days.


Man Hospitalized After Fall from Ladder - August 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   Shortly before 9:00 a.m. on Monday, August 28th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a report of a person who fell at an Elmwood Road residence. Fire Police Capt. Don Portik reported that 72 year-old Paul McNeil of Lakeland, Florida was assisting a local resident when he slipped and fell about 15' from the top of a ladder. He sustained traumatic injuries, was stabilized by GIFC EMS and transported to ECMC for followup treatment.


Two Car MVA Causes One Injury - August 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    At 1:18 p.m. on Saturday, August 26th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a two car collision on the northbound lane of the I-190 near Burnt Ship Creek. Fire Chief Chris Soluri reported that 48 year-old Jeanett Tascarella of Buffalo, NY sustained upper body injuries while a passenger in a car that was rear ended by another vehicle. After on the scene treatment, she was transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital for further medical attention. Six other individuals declined treatment.


Lawnmower Malfunction Causes Large Grass Fire - August 2017


Damaged lawnmower after fire.

Story & photo by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    At 4:20 p.m. on Friday, August 25th, Grand Island firefighters responded to a report of a large outside fire at East River Road and Winkler Drive. Ass't Fire Chief Dan Mathes reported that a homeowner was attempting to clear out a patch of heavy marsh grass from a riverfront area when his mower burst into flames, due to a mechanical malfunction. This resulted in a spreading grass fire covering approximatley a 10'x30' area. The fire was put out within 20 minutes by fire suppression crews. No structures were involved and damage to the mower was estimated at $1000.


Island I-190 Incidents on the Rise - August 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    Three separate motor vehicle related incidents took place on the I-190 between August 11th and 15th. On August 11th at 1:19 p.m., a three car MVA occurred on the northbound I-190 near Burnt Ship Creek. Although six individuals were evaluated by GIFC EMS personnel, only one required hospitalization. 19 year-old Corey Smith of Toms River, New Jersey sustained non life threatening injuries and was transported to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.
    At 9:06 a.m. on August 15th, 47 year-old Elisa Newman-Daved of Niagara Falls, NY pulled over onto the shoulder of the I-190 near the Baseline Rd. overpass when she suffered a sudden medical emergency. After evaluation by GIFC medics, she was transported to Mount St. Mary's hospital. Later, at 9:49 p.m., a three car MVA occurred on the I-190 near the North Bridge Toll barrier. 21 year-old Savannah McKenna of Niagara Falls was evaluated by GIFC medics and transported to Mount St. Mary's Hospital. Five others refused aid.


Sandy Beach Residential Fire - August 2017

Heavy smoke in early stages of fire.

Sheridan Park aerial ladder truck.

Story & photos by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    At 7:19 p.m. on Monday, August 14, Grand Island firefighters responded to a structure fire at a Sandy Beach Road (south) home. The occupant discovered smoke coming upstairs, out of the basement, and immediately contacted the GIFC for emergency assistance.
   Arriving fire suppression crews encountered heavy smoke pouring from first and second floor doorways and windows. Engines #2,3,4, & 5 took up operational positions when obtaining a hydrant water supply. Meanwhile, a Sheridan Park VFD aerial ladder truck arrived on location to provide rooftop access if needed. Interior attack crews entered the building at 7:30 p.m. and fire was declared out at 7:45 p.m.
   Although there was considerable smoke damage throughout upper floors of the home, the fire was confined to the basement, where it had originated. Total damage was estimated at $100,000 to the structure and $50,000 to the contents. Grand Island Fire Investigator Mike DeMartin and his Erie County Sheriff Department counterparts indicated that the exact cause remains under investigation.
   The American Red Cross was contacted to arrange for temporary housing for family members. The City of Tonwawanda also provided mutual aid standby at Grand Island Fire headquarters.


Dave Khreis Receives Award - August 2017

Dave Knreis with Dan McMahon.

Story & photo by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    Following a joint recommendation by Grand Island Fire Chief Chris Soluri and VFW Post 9249 Commander Dan McMahon, fire fighter and EMT Dave Khreis received the VFW National EMT Award during a special August 8th ceremony at the VFW Post on Grand Island Blvd.
   Dave's GIFC service encompassed firefighting skills, NYS EMT certification, 20 years life membership, current position on the Board of Directors, etc. His military service covered seven years in the U.S. Navy, followed by naval reserve duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Dave also received many official commendations for his extra ordinary accomplishments within his fire and military services. Congratulations to Dave.


New Inflatable Boat - August 2017

From left: GIFC Chief officers Deputy Chief Mark Sadkowski, Chief Chris Soluri, Assistant Chiefs Omar Sortino and Dan Mathes.

Story & photo by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    Fire Chief Chris Soluri reports that the Grand Island Fire Company recently took delivery of a 2017 INMAR 20.2 foot, rigid hull inflatable boat. It is powered by a Honda 135 HP outborad motor and is replacing a 15 year-old Zodiac vessel. It can reach speeds of up to 40 MPH and can hold ten individuals. A floating fire pump can be operated as needed. The vessel is designated as MU-2 and will be docked at Big 6 Marina. MU-1 is berthed at River Oaks Marina.


Island Firefighters Receive Allstate Helping Hands Grant - August 2017

Chief Soluri, left receives check from Allstate agent Tony Mastantuono.

Story & photo by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    Fire Chief Chris Soluri reports that the Grand Island Fire Company has been the recipient of a special 2017 "Hands in the Community" award through the Mastanuono Allstate Agency. The $1000 grand will be applied towards current ALS equipment needs. He also noted that such grants supplement contractual funding from the Town of Grand Island, enhancing various operational requirements and thanks the Mastantuono Agency for its long time support of the GIFC.


Downed Primary Line Causes Major Power Outage - July 2017

GI Fire Company vehicle blocks road.

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    At 1:44 p.m. on Saturday, July 22nd, Grand Island firefighters responded to a wires down call at 3190 Stony Point Road, between Huth Road and Majestic Woods. Ass't Fire Chief Dan Mathes stated that heavy arcing was taking place where a downed, high voltage line contacted the ground, and started a small grass fire, quickly extinguished.
   A safety zone was established using Engines #4 & #5, pending arrival of a National Grid repair crew. Meanwhile, over 100 local residents remained without power. The hazard was eliminated at 3:15 p.m., while restoration operations were underway, and the roadway reopened at that time.


Kitchen Fire Confined to Oven - July 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    At 8:17 p.m. on Monday, July 24, Grand Island firefighters responded to a report of a structure fire at the Kohli residence on North Lane. Fire Capt. Kevin Koch stated that when family members returned home from a shopping trip, they found smoke in their kitchen and immediately contacted the GIFC for emergency assistance. When fire suppression crews arrived with Engine #3 and LT #6, they discovered that a fire was confined to the oven in a kitchen stove. The fire was substantially out by that time and there was no extension to the surrounding area. Capt. Koch identified the cause as an electrical malfunction and caused approximately $1500 in damage. Some ventilation of the structure was required and there were no injuries.


Mesmers Annual Summer Picnic - July 2017

Chris Caruana skims trees in his 1942 Stearman.

Sherry Schupp thanks first responders.

Jeff Antoncich thanks fire fighter Edie Racz at event.

Story & photo by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   Bob Mesmer welcomed a record crowd of several hundred guests at his annual air show and neighborhood picnic on Wednesday, July 12th. The event is located at his home at Love Road and Alt Blvd. A special visit was made by Jeff Antoncich, a skydiver that was injured at last years event, during a hard landing. The many fire fighters, EMS and doctor that was on site last year, saved Jeff's life. Jeff's sister Sherry Schupp made an emotional thank you speech to the first responders. Jeff is improving from his injuries.
   Among the highlights of the evening, pilot Chris Caruana wowed the spectators with stunts he performed in his 1942 Stearman plane. This plane was commonly used to train wartime military pilots. A member of the Frontier Skydiving Club made a perfect landing on the Mesmer airfield and U.S. Border Patrol units were on display, along with the GIFC Ladder Truck #6.


Drivers Uninjured in Island MVA - July 2017


Story & photo by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    At 7:17 p.m. on Monday, July 3rd, Grand Island Fire Company rescue crews responded to a two car MVA at the interesection of Carter Drive and Broadway. Deputy Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski reported that 27 year-old Shasta Lacy of Ransomville, NY and 17 year-old Liana Lombardo of Grand Island were evaluated by GIFC EMS and claimed no injuries.


More I-190 Accidents - July 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    Fire Chief Chris Soluri reported that Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel handled several EMS incidents and two major traffic accidents following the Independence Day Parade duty.
   A five car MVA occurred on the northbound I-190 at the North Grand Island Bridge at 1:20 p.m. 36 year-old Haiat Bumaa of Rochester, NY and a 10 year-old were evaluated by GIFC medics for non life-threatening injuries and transported to Niagara Falls Medical Center. Four other individuals denied injuries.
   At 7:13 p.m., a four car MVA occurred in the same general location. 42 year-old Falmeda Bacchus of Scarborough, Ontario, along with a 14 and 17 year-old were evaluated by GIFC medics and transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital. 39 year-old Balkisoen Girwall of Toronto, Ontario was evaluated for a minor injury and transported to Kenmore Mercy. Others were treated at the scene.


2nd Accident on I-190 - July 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    At 2:18 p.m. on Friday, June 30th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a two car MVA on the northbound I-190 near the Bedell Road overpass. Fire Capt. Skip Mrkall stated the eight individuals had safely exited the involved vehicles and were subsequently evaluated by EMS responders for injuries not considered life threatening. 74 year-old Nermino Serrano, 28 year-old Lizza Marie Concepcion and 50 year-old Carmen Muniz Febus of Buffalo were transported to South Buffalo Mercy Hospital for follow-up. 40 year-old Jocelyn Monroe of Buffalo and a 10 year-old passenger were transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital. This was the second multi-vehicle accident that day on the I-190 (Grand Island).


Multi Vehicle MVA on North Bridge - July 2017


Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
Photos courtesy of Asst. Chief Dan Mathes.

    At 7:36 a.m. on Friday, June 30th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a six car, chain reaction collision on the southbound I-190 at the North Grand Island Bridge. Slippery road conditions during rush hour traffic reportedly contributed to the crash.
    Fire Capt. Tim Krecisz stated that 51 year-old Leonard Lingski of Niagara Falls, NY was evaluated by medics for a traumatic injury and transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital. Eight other individuals were evaluated by GIFC and TCA EMS providers, but all declined hospitalization.


Firefighters/Medics Face Escalating MVA Incidents - June 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.     Fire Chief Chris Soluri reports that Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel have had to contend with a continuing upsurge in MVA's since June 13th, when medics rendered ALS assistance to a hit-and-run victim. Most recently, EMS personnel responded to four separate two car MVA's on Friday, June 23rd. At 1:42 p.m., six individuals, including two youmg children, were evaluated by GIFC and TCA EMS personnel following a I-190 South Bridge collision. All occupants declined hospitalization.
    At 4:19 p.m. another I-190 MVA, northbound near Long Road, resulted in 52 year-old Vanessa Gulley of Niagara Falls, NY being treated for non life-threatening injuries and transported by TCA to NFMMC, Three others were evaluated but declined hospitalization. At 4:58 p.m. six persons were evaluated after a Staley Road/Grand Island Blvd. MVA. No injuries reported.
    Finally at 11:02 p.m., another MVA on Staley Road between Stony Point and Winkler Drive resulted in 48 year-old Margaret Ducic of Grand Island receiving stababilizing treatement from GIFC medics and transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital for follow-up. Two others were evaluated and did not require hospitalization.


Deck Fire on Continental Lane - June 2017


Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
Photo by Pete Sukmanowski

   Shortly after 6:00 p.m. on Friday, June 9th, Grand Island firefighters responded to a structure fire at 24 Continental Lane. Deputy Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski stated that the homeowner managed to use a garden hose to knock down the fire, pior to the arrival of Engine #5 and fire suppression crews. The fire reportedly spread from bonfire embers to an attached deck and hot tub. GIFC firefighters checked the area for any extension which proved negative. Total damage was estimated at $10,000.


Island Homeowner Limits Garage Fire Damage- June 2017


Story and photo by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    Shortly before 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 11th, Grand Island firefighters responded to a structure fire at the Fix Road residence of Louis Pilie. An alert neighbor had noticed smoke and flames coming from the front of an attached garage and sought emergency 911 assistance, while notifying the homeowner.
    Ass't Fire Chief Omar Sortino stated that the fire had originated in a garbage container next to the garage and extended up the wall and into the vinyl covered soffit. The homeowner was able to knock the fire down with a nearby garden howe prior to the arrival of Engine #2 and fire suppression crews. The area was then checked for further extension, which proved negative. Total structural damage was estimated at $3000, with no damage to the contents. The cause was determined to be spontaneous combustion.


Niagara River Boat Fire - June 2017


Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   At 6:29 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7th, the City of Tonawanda Fire Department alerted the Grand Island Fire Company of a boat on fire in the east branch of the Niagara River, in the vicinity of the River Oaks Marina.
   Fire Chief Chris soluri stated that Marine Unit 1 responded with a six man crew, consisting of Ass't Chief Dan Mathes, EMS Capt. Scott McCormick, firefighters Ashley Gorman, Rich Nichols, Allison DeMartin, and Joe Casullo. The 36 foot, 1985 Carver cruiser was fully involved in heavy flames when MU1 arrived on location minutes later. Meanwhile, the two occupants had jumped into the river and were picked up by a good samaritan boater in the area. They were taken to the City of Tonawanda shoreline and were uninjured, but cold.
   Total damage was estimated at $10,000, a total loss of the boat. An exact cause has not been determined, but some type of engine/fuel system malfunction is suspected. Other agencies providing backup assistance were the Erie County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit, Niagara County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit, City of Tonawanda Fire Department and Police Department Marine Unit.


Island Drivers Hospitalized after Two Car Collision - June 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   At 10:40 a.m. on Thursday, June 1st, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a two car MVA at the intersection of Stony Point and Bedell Roads. Fire Capt. John Podlucky reported that 55 year-old Jeff Dickerson of Grand Island was evaluated by GIFC medics for non-life threatening injuries and transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital. The second driver, 31 year-old Dimitra Bitikofer and her three year-old daughter, also of Grand Island, sustained minor injuries and were transported to Sister Hospital for precautionary follow-up.


KOA Campground Fire - May 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   At 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 20th, Grand Island firefighters responded to a structure fire at KOA Campgrounds, 2570 Grand Island Blvd. Fire Chief Chris Soluri stated that a mulch fire extended to a cabin deck area, which ignited some boards. Maintenance crews were able to extinguish the small blaze, which limited damage to under $100. Firefighters checked the immediate area for extension but uncovered nothing. There was no determination of cause. This is the third such incident within the past five weeks.
   GIFC firefighters first encountered a large, mulch fire at the NOCO Express on April 16th. A second mulch fire occurred at the Rite Aid Drug Store on May 17th. Careless disposal of cigarettes may have caused these fires and early detection resulted in little damage.


Grand Island Fire Company Celebrates 79 Years of Service - May 2017

BOD Chairman Greg Butcher, Fire Chief Chris Soluri & President Michael Dallessandro with Tammy Gorman (15 years) .

Mike DeMartin (30 years), Butcher, Soluri and Dallessandro.

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    Grand Island Fire Company President Mike Dallessandro welcomed local government officials, family members and special guests to fire headquarters on Saturday, May 20th, to commemorate 79 years of first rate community protection. Dallessandro stressed that such dedicated volunteerism is much more than a passing fancy, but rather a lifetime committment that cannot prevail without unconditional family support.
   Board of Directors Chairman Greg Butcher echoed these sentiments while pointing out that the GIFC has made solid progress over the past year, especially in the area of critical infrastructure upgrades.
   Althouth the continuing success of the GIFC depends upon a strong group effort, certain individuals were recognized for reaching notable milestones. The service award recipients are:
5 years - Anthony Buscaglia
10 years - Ryan Ayers & Saed Shafie
15 years - Past President Tammy Gorman & Joe Torregrossa
25 years - Past Chief & Director Greg Butcher & Director Jeremy Pullano
30 years - Michael DeMartin, Robert Aronica & Dr. Lee Routsie
35 years - Dr. David Johnson
40 years - Greg Zilliox
45 years - Gail Lazenby (former EMS Captain & Board Chairman)
50 years - Past Chief Gary Roesch
55 years - Past Director Dan McMahon & Andrew Job
   Ladies Auxiliary President Nicole Butcher presented the GIFC with a $500 check to assist with ongoing interior renovations. Thanks to all the volunteers who are always there, 24-7, when the need arises.




Driver Hospitalized in Grand Island MVA - May 2017


Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    Shortly after 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a two car collision at the busy intersection of Broadway and Beaver Island Parkway.
Ass't Fire Chief Omar Sortino stated that 24 year-old David Fiqueroa of Buffalo, NY was evaluated by a GIFC EMS crew for non life-threatening injuries. He was then transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital. The other driver, 73 year-old Cheryl Fell of Grand Island, claimed no serious injuries.




Driver Hospitalized in Two Car Collision - May 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   At 5:26 p.m. on Friday, April 28th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a two car MVA on Grand Island Blvd., in front of Top's Market. Fire Police Capt. Don Portik stated that 47 year-old Lisa Renee Guagliano of Grand Island was evaluated for non life threatening injuries and transported to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. The other diriver,19 year-old Emelie-Jo Scheffler, also of Grand Island and a five year-old passenger were uninjured.




Driver Crashes into Roadside Tree - May 2017


Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   Shortly after 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 27th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a one car MVA on Alvin Road, across from the Fuccillo Hyundai dealership. Fire Police Capt. Don Portik stated that 85 year-old James Williams of Grand Island apparently lost control of his vehicle which crossed the center line, careened into a ditch and then came to rest after striking a large tree. He was evaluated by GIFC medics and transported by ambulance to Mount St. Mary's Medical Center.




Alert Neighbor Prevents Spread of Household Fire - May 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   Shortly after 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26th, Grand Island firefighters responded to a structure fire at the Greenway Road residence of Sandra LaPort-Rios. An alert neighbor, Sam Correa, noticed smoke coming from the front porch area and immediately contacted the GIFC for emergency assistance. Meanwhile, Mr. Correa enlisted help from two other neighbors and they were able to break a window and pour water on an aquarium hood and heating lamp which had ignited.
    Fire Chief Chris Soluri stated that this quick thinking action undoubtedly prevented a major household fire from developing since the homeowner was not there at the time. Although fire suppression was not required, the interior was ventilated to remove an accumulation of smoke. Mrs. Rios later stated that her neighbors timely intervention probably saved her home, for which she is extremely grateful. As for the aquarium's inhabitatnt, an exotic blue tongued skink (lizard), he was out visiting relatives and was spared an untimely demise. Other family pets, including two dogs, survived.




NOCO Express Mulch Fire - April 2017


Story & photo by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   Shortly before 12:00 p.m. on Easter Sunday, Grand Island firefighters responded to an outside fire at the NOCO Express Shop, 1898 Whitehaven Road. Ass't Fire Chief Omar Sortino and Fire Capt. Jourdain Benoit directed fire suppression crews utilizing Engine #4 to cover a 20' by 100' mulch fire which had sent thick smoke across Whitehaven Rd. Although there was no damage to the adjacent building, a Verizon relay box and wires sustained some minor charring.
   Fire officials did not pinpoint an exact cause,although spontaneous combustion or careless disposal of cigarettes are the usual suspects. GIFC cautions property owners to keep an eye on freshly laid mulch so that any signs of smoldering can be spotted before property damage occurs.




GIFC Trains Students in CPR - April 2017

Medic Michelle Jones supervises AED training.

Student Trevor Palamuso practices CPR.

Story & photos by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   Fire Chief Chris Soluri reported that Grand Island Fire Company Medics and EMT's visited the Grand Island High School on April 4th and 5th for a special CPR and AED training session. Approximately 1200 students participated in the program that was established several years ago.
   Physical Education staff members Dean Santorio, Daneen Gallagher, Shawn Quinn, Kristen Wegrzyn and Mike Stauffer provided instructional equipment (video, resusci-annies, AEDs), while coordinating hourly sessions with GIFC personnel. GIFC Medics Robert Dailey, Scott McCormick, Michelle Jones and EMTs Ben Shaw and Don Portik gave individual, hands on advice. Everyone agreed that this valuable learning experience could someday save a life.




Two Car MVA on Long Road - March 2017


Story & photo by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   Shortly after 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22nd, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a two car MVA that occurred at the intersection of Long Road and Havenwood Lane. Fire Capt. Tim Krecisz reported that 68 year-old Sandra Nethero and 89 year-old Dorothy Depew, both of Grand Island, were evaluated at the scene and declined hospitalization. All GIFC units returned to service by 3:33 p.m.




Firefighters Battle Major Blaze at IsleChem Plant - March 2017

   

Above - John Podlucky photos.

Ray Pauley photo and story.

Story & photos by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   At 12:27 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, 2017, Grand Island firefighters responded to a reported structure fire at the IsleChem LLC plant at 2801 Long Road. Fire Chief Chris Soluri stated that when GIFC units arrived, light smoke was visible over the roof area. Fire suppression crews from Engines #3,4,5 and LT 6 gained building entry at 1:02 p.m. and determined that there was a major fire concentrated in three labs on the second floor.
   Chief Soluri requested mutual aid assistance from the Sheridan Park VFD, Brighton VFD and City of Tonawanda Fire Department due to the heavy anticipated workload. The fire was brought under control at 1:47 p.m. and no hazardous chemicals were encountered during fire operations. A second alarm was issued for additional manpower from the City of Niagara Falls Fire Department, River Road VFD and Kenilworth VFD to relieve exhausted firefighters. Three firefighters sustained minor injuries and were treated on location. Total damage was estimated at $250,000 to the building and $250,000 to the contents. GIFC and Erie County fire investigators have not pinpointed an exact cause. All units returned to service by 4:31 p.m., except for investigators.




Island Firefighters Seek Hydrant Clearing Support - March 2017


Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
Fire Chief Chris Soluri urges Grand Island residents and business owners to locate and clear snow from nearby hydrants to help their local volunteers handle any fire emergency that arises. He noted that "missing" hydrants that have been buried by recent heavy snowfall can hamper firefighting operations if firefighters must search for a ready water supply. Such a delay could contribute to excessive property damage or worse if fire engine reservers become exhausted before the situation is brought under control. Chief Soluri also notes that local Boy Scouts of America troops and other organizations have been especially helpful in the past and are expected to continue an agressive "adopt a hydrant" program during this threatening storm occurrence. Any helping hands will be greatly appreciated by the GIFC as well as the entire WNY fire service.



Island Scouts Take Advantage Of Firefighter Outreach Program - March 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    During the evening of Thursday, March 9th, members of BSA Troop 510 visited Grand Island Fire Headquarters for a special first aid training session. Fire Chief Chris Soluri noted that this event is representative of a community outreach program established several years ago to enhance beneficial interaction with residents served by the GIFC.
EMS Capt. Scott McCormick and Fire Police Capt. Don Portik welcomed thirty scouts, parents, and Ass't Scoutmasters Susan Grenda, Mike Stawiasz, Todd Tribby, and Troop Committee Chair Tina Vizzi for a "crash" course on basic first aid techniques. Topics covered were CPR for adults and infants, bleeding control and splinting of fractures. Participants voiced their appreciation for these BLS lessons which will come in handy if they are faced with a real emergency in the future.
Thanks again to our GIFC volunteers for going 'above and beyond' normal duties in service to their community.







Two Car MVA on Staley Road - March 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    A two car MVA occured at 2855 Staley Road, but both Grand Island drivers, 64 yr old Roberta Cap and 53 yr old Melanie Smith declined hospitalization.









Driver Hospitalized in North Bridge MVA - February 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    Shortly after 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31st, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a three vehicle MVA on the I-190 southbound, near the North Grand Island Bridge Toll barriers. This is the third multi vehicle accident to occur in that vicinity since January 4th. Deputy Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski stated that Paul Harper of Grand Island was involved in a collision with an 18 wheeler and another passenger vehicle. He was evaluated by GIFC EMS personnel and transported by ambulance to Kenmore Mercy Hospital. The Canadian driver of the semi refused treatment. Sarah Szotuski, 32 years-old and her 8 year-old son were also uninjured.




Island Couple Hospitalized in Three Car Collision - January 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    At 10:48 p.m. on Saturday, January 28th, Grand Island Fire Company Rescue personnel responded to a three car MVA on Stony Point Rd. between Whitehaven and Independence Lane. Fire Chief Chris Soluri reported that this multi vehicle collision was caused by slippery road conditions and other factors. One driver 63 year-old Diane Lattimer of Grand Island and her husband, 63 year-old John were evaluated by GIFC medics and transported to Millard Fillmore Suburban hospital. Another driver, 17 year-old Maxwell Keller of Grand Island claimed no injuries. Two 16 year-old Islanders in the third vehicle declined hospitalization. GIFC units returned to service by 11:15 p.m.




Slow Down, Use Caution, Move Over - January 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   After a recent incident, Grand Island Fire Chief Chris Soluri is stressing that scene safety has always been a top priority for all firefighting and EMS personnel. While local volunteers do their best to handle any and all emergency incidents, they are also placed in harms way and require special protection to lesson some of the dangers they face. Section 1144a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of 2012 requires motorists to slow down, use caution, and move over when encountering any emergency vehicle travelling or parked on a roadway. Chief Soluri noted that while the vast majority of drivers consciously observe the law, there are some who don't. He also noted that within the past week, a passing motorist ran into a parked GIFC vehicle, barely missing a medic standing next to an on scene ambulance. Chief Soluri urges all highway users to exercise common sense, so that GIFC volunteers can perform their community protection duties.




Grand Island Fire Company Installation Dinner - January 2017

All from left.
Firematic Officers, back: Koch, Portik, Sortino, Soluri, Sadkowski, Mathes, Mrkall.
Front: Krecisz, Podlucky, McCormick.

Administrative Officers: Gerber, Mastantuono, Mendel, Dallessandro, Ciffa, Khreis.

Board of Directors: Dallessandro, Butcher, Koch, Shafie, Pullano, Khreis, (absent Pete Sukmanowski).

Ladies Auxiliary: A. Soluri, Wilson, V. Soluri, D. Soluri, Butcher, Shafie.

Story & photos by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray administered the oath of office to newly elected Grand Island Fire Company officers on Saturday, January 14th at fire headquarters, 2275 Baseline Road. Both firematic and administrative officers were sworn to uphold their 2017 community protection duties. Honored guests and family members joined in praising the outstanding committment of these volunteers. GIFC Board Chairman Greg Butcher reminded those in attendance that the firefighter workload during 2016 consisted of an astonishing 57,504 total hours devoted to this community service.
   Chris Soluri begins his first term as fire chief and will be joined by Deputy Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski, 1st Ass't Chief Omar Sortino, 2nd Ass't Chief Dan Mathes; Fire Captains Tim Krecisz, John Podlucky & Jordain Benoit; Day Captains Kevin Koch and Skip Mrkall, Fire Police Captain Don Portik and EMS Captain Scott McCormick.
   President Mike Dallessandro will be assisted by Vice Pres. Brent Mendel, Recording Secretary Joanne Ciffa, Line Secretary Michelle Jones, Financial Secretary Nicole Gerber, Treasurer Anthony Mastantuono and Sgt At Arms Dave Khreis.
   Greg Butcher was returned to the Board of Directors and Mike Dallessandro began a new three year term. Scott Shaw will serve on the Board of Review and Robert Meyer was returned as a Benevolent Association Trustee. GIFC Ladies Auxiliary President Nicole Butcher introduced her officers as follows: Vice President Vicki Soluri, Recording Secretary Arlene Soluri, Secretary Danna Soluri, Treasurer Nancy Amato, Sgt At Arms Barbara Wilson, Chaplain Mary Becker, Trustees Julie Meyer, Darcy Golde and Haneen Shafie.
   The 2016 Chief's Award was presented to Pete Coppola for his exceptional service as Safety Officer, member of the Board of Directors and his dependability as a day squad responder. Recipient of the 2016 Presidents Award was Dave Khreis, also a Board member who consistently went above and beyond normal job assignments. Firefighters Don Turner, Rich Nichols and Jon Cinelli received training awards for their notable contributions in this area.
   Firefighter Robert Dailey received a special EMS Award for completing an extensive two year college course leading to his NYS certification as a paramedic. Firefighter Ben Shaw was singled out as Rookie of the Year for his phenominal performance whenever called upon. Other new recruits who were congratulated for 2016 training accomplishments were Michael Haynes, Paul Valera, Dan Robinson, Jeremy Stepp, Dakota Bower and Ashley Gorman. Matt Osinski was commended for his outstanding service and dedication as fire chief from 2014 through 2016. John Podlucky was similarly recognized for his exhaustive work as past GIFC president.
   2016 Chiief's Commendations were issued to GIFC personnel Pat Hahn, Pete Coppola, Ben Shaw and Evan Shaw for lifesaving intervention in an MVA on April 15, 2016. Responders Omar Sortino, Jon Cinelli, Jourdain Benoit, Nick Egloff, Mike DeMartin, Robert Dailey, Rich Nichols, Edie Thompson, Joe Torregrossa, Alison DeMartin, and Medical Director Chris Krawczyk received a similar commendation for their life saving intervention in a July 13, 2016 skydiving accident.
   Top Ten responders during 2016 were led by Capt. Tim Krecisz with 672 calls. Others in sequential order are Joanne Ciffa, Matt Osinski, Jon Cinelli, Dan Mathes, Nick Egloff, Mark Sadkowski, Omar Sortino, Cory Rozell and Skip Mrkall.




GI Bridge MVA - January 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   Shortly before 6:00 a.m. on Monday, January 16th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a four car chain reaction collision in the southbound lane of the I-190 at the North Grand Island Bridge. This is the second multi vehicle accident occurring in that location within the past two weeks.
   Fire Chief Chris Soluri stated that extremely slippery road conditions during early rush hour traffic apparently contributed to this MVA. 52 year-old Robert Vaughan of Youngstown, NY; 28 year-old Ryan Chambers of Niagara Falls, NY and 27 year-old Peter Shea of Youngstown, NY were evaluated by GIFC EMS personnel but claimed no injuries. The fourth driver was treated by medics and transported to St. Mary's Hospital for additional medical attention.




$30,000 in Damage at Garage Fire - January 2017


Story and photo by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   At 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 7th, Grand Island firefighters responded to a structure fire at the Bedell Road residence of David Butcher. An alert neighbor noticed visible smoke and flames coming from a two car unattached garage at the Butcher home and immediately contacted the homeowner and the Grand Island Fire Company.
   Deputy Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski reported a working fire as Engines #2,#4,#5, LT 6 and fire suppression crews arrived on location. Despite two frozen hydrants west of the involved building, the fire was knocked down and under control at 4:51 p.m. Firefighters used the direct water supply from engines on scene. Total damage was estimated at $20,000 to the structure and $10,000 to the contents. The 76 year-old homeowner was treated for smoke inhalation but declined hospitalization.




MVA at Island Residence- January 2017

Front of Adams vehicle in basement, at top.

Story and photo by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   At 6:40 p.m. on Wednesday, January 4th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a motor vehicle collision with a building incident at 11 Regency Drive. Homeowner Phyllis Lock was sitting in the kitchen with her older sister when they heard what sounded like an explosion. The ladies then heard pounding on the door as the driver alerted them to the problem and helped them get to the neighbors, where the GIFC was contacted.
   Fire Chief Chris Soluri confirmed that 54 year-old David Adams of Niagara Falls had lost control of his vehicle which veered off Stony Point Road and traveled about 60 feet before striking the Regency Drive home. The force of the impact dislodged an exterior gas meter while the vehicle intself crashed through a wall and ended up about three feet into the basement. The driver claimed no injuries when evaluated by GIFC medics. The gas meter was shut down and National Fuel was notified while the house was ventilated to remove hazardous fumes.




North Bridge MVA's - January 2017

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   At 7:41 a.m. on Wednesday, January 4th, Grand Island Fire Company rescue personnel responded to a nine car chain reaction collision in the southbound lane of the North Grand Island Bridge. Deputy Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski reported that slippery road conditions during rush hour traffic contributed to the multi vehicle accident. 25 year-old Ashley Luzak of Lewiston was treated and transported to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. 43 year-old Christina Rice of Niagara Falls was evaluated and transported to DeGraff Memorial Medical Center. 59 year-old Ellen Hutton of North Tonawanda was also evaluated for minor injuries and refused hospitalization. Although there was extensive property damage to other autos, no other injuries were reported.


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