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Grand Island Fire Company News 2021

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 2021: Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski; Deputy Chief Chief Omar Sortino; 1st Assistant Chief John Podlucky; 2nd Assistant Chief Pat Hahn, Fire Captains: Don Turner, Cory Rozell, Tom Shanor; EMS Captain Robbie Meyer; Fire Police Captain Don Portik.

Administrative Officers 2021: President Sean O'Donnell, Vice President Ron Warner, Recording Secretary Graciana Giambra, Financial Secretary Nicole Gerber, Treasurer Tony Mastantuono Sr., Line Secretary Ellen Valera

Board of Directors 2021 Greg Butcheri, Chairman; Matt Osinski, Kevin Koch, Jeremy Pullano, Norm Mrkall II, Dave Khreis, Saed Shafie.

GI Fire Company Open House - October 2021


Story: Ron Stipp - Public Information Officer
Photos by Mary Stewart

    Grand Island opened its doors and hosted a successful Open House on Friday, October 8th, after rounding off a week of Fire Prevention!
    The week of October 3rd thru October 9th is known as Fire Prevention Week. During that week, Grand Island Firefighters make their visits to the schools to teach and remind kids on fire safety. Firefighters teach kids of the danger of playing with matches, how to stop-drop-and-roll, along with several other lifesaving tips. Firefighters gear up and mask up to bring forth the fact that they shouldn’t be afraid of us and if in an event of emergency, remind them that its important to get out safe.
    Following the week of prevention, Fire HQ is opened up to the public where we have apparatus on display and resources of other local agencies. Everything from fire trucks, to rescue trucks, ladder trucks, equipment trailers, police cars, SWAT vehicles, to helicopters. Open house includes a live-fire demonstration where firefighters have mocked up a child’s bedroom with bunk beds, and simulates the dangers of fire and just how powerful it can be.
    Kids also were able to enter our annual school raffle of “ride a fire truck to school” where the GIFC will at random select kids from all the different schools and ages, and give them a ride to school in style!
    A special thank you to our generous Island Business donors include Fresensius Kabi, Fuccillo Auto Group, Leslie’s Collision, Brick Oven Pizzeria, Island Prescription Center, Island Kids Child Care Center, Blackberry’s Restaurant, American Family Dental Group, Certified Auto Brokers, and Bible Presbyterian Church.
    Another special thank you for participating in this year’s open house includes US Customs and Border Protection, NY State Police, NY State Parks Police, Erie County Sheriff Office, Sheridan Park District 4, Brighton Fire District, and Ellicott Creek Fire. Looking forward to seeing you next year! Thanks for making it a great one Grand Island! Photos and videos can be found on our Facebook Page @GrandIslandFireCompany.

Fresenius Kabi Raises Funds for New Engine Tools - September 2021

Story: Ron Stipp - Public Information Officer

    In 2020, Grand Island started the process of the planning, configuration, and building the order of its new Fire Engine to replace the aged 20-year-old apparatus, Engine 3. A year in the making, fast forward to 2021, the new Engine 3 has finally made its delivery to Fire Headquarters.
    Although just because the engine has been delivered, that doesn’t mean it’s quite ready to be put in-service just yet. Things like outfitting with new radios, ladders, air-packs, saws, and axes is still a must! Although many of these tools and equipment can be passed on from engine to engine, there are still several items that need to be replaced due to age, use, and safety.
    Thankfully with help from our friends at Fresenius Kabi of Staley Road, they and their employees made replacing these items a little bit easier this time around! Employees at Fresenius Kabi raised $660 in donations of which was put towards the purchase of new hand tools for the new engine! On top of that, the company additionally donated $500 towards our Annual Open House which is scheduled October 8th.
    Fresenius Kabi is a global healthcare company that specializes in lifesaving medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion, and clinical nutrition. For more information about them, you can visit their website, or see them in-person at our upcoming Open House, October 8th.     A huge THANK YOU to both Fresenius Kabi and their employees for the generous donation! We can’t thank you enough, and rest assured, will put these new tools to good use in the future.

GI Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary Chowder Sale - October 2021

    The GI Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary Annual Chowder Sale takes place on Saturday, October 16th at 11:00 a.m. Pre-orders are encouraged, contact Nicole-609-3563 or Darcey-907-3002. Auxiliary supplies containers at $6.00 per quart. Drive-thru pick-up only. Credit cards and Venmo accepted.

Firefighters Day at The Miracle League of WNY - August 2021

   From Ron Stipp - Public Information Officer
    On Sunday, August 29th, The Miracle League of WNY hosted “Firefighter Day” at Veterans Park on Grand Island. Although the rain came and cooled things off a few minutes before the first pitch, things heated right back up and it turned out to be a great day for the kids!
    The Miracle League of WNY is an organization that is designed to serve individuals who cannot be accommodated by established baseball leagues due to their special needs of their disabilities. What started out as a dream for residents of Grand Island quickly turned into reality with a tremendous amount of support from the community. More information can be found at miracleleaguewny.org.
    Several volunteer members from Grand Island Fire, River Road Volunteer Fire Company, Bergholz Volunteer Fire Department, Brighton Volunteer Fire Company, and Kenilworth Volunteer Fire Company accompanied and assisted the kids while at bat, running the bases, along with pitching and fielding.
After a few short hours of fun and games, and a group photo in front of the fire trucks, followed what we believe is probably the best part of the event on a hot day (and even for us adults too) ...cooling down from the cold water from a fire truck hose! With the help of the aerial Grand Island Truck #6 extended over the field, the super-soaker was activated from above!
    We have a saying around GI Fire that “it’s for the kids” ...and for sure, that Sunday was a great day for the kids!

Final Goodbye for Two Iconic Life Members - August 2021

   From Ron Stipp - Public Information Officer
    This weekend, the members of the Grand Island Fire Company said their final goodbyes to two iconic life members of the GIFC.
    Luigi D’Orazio, 91 passed April 1, 2020. Lou was born December 19, 1928 in Rochester, NY. He proudly served in the United States Air Force in the Aleutian Islands during the Korean War. Prior to his retirement in 1988 after a 35-year career at New York Telephone, he joined the volunteer ranks of the GIFC in 1964. He quickly received his Advanced EMT certification and was as we would call a “die-hard responder” for years!
    Fast forward to 1984, Lou was awarded his life membership...but he still remained an active volunteer. Around the hall, Lou was always known for wearing his linesman boots...no matter the weather. Lou received the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce’s Special award for his lifetime of work as a community volunteer in 1991. Due to the pandemic, a memorial service was held this past Saturday, and said our final goodbye to this life member of 56-years.
    Raymond W. Pauley Sr, 88 entered into rest August 17, 2021. Ray joined the volunteer GIFC service in 1963. Ray was known as an icon not only at the hall, but in the community. You could always find Ray promoting Fire Prevention at the annual Lions Day Kids Picnic, rain or shine.
    Throughout his time at the GIFC, he served in the Chiefs line for several years. Ray retired from NY State as a Sr. Parole Officer. He is most remembered for Press Releases to local media outlets based on incidents the GIFC encountered. Although Ray loved antiquing, he always found time to remain a “die-hard responder” for years! This 58-year life member will be missed.
    Rest in peace our brothers; we have it from here.

Notify Fire Company of Bonfire Intent - July 2021

    Please call the GI Fire Companies non-emergency phone # to report that you are having a bonfire. Several times in the past week, they have been sent out because of smoke reported in an area with an unknown source. It's great to have a fire but they ask that you call when you start one and after its out. This will avoid a report of a smoke and not add any problems with responding when there are real emergencies they need to go to. Call 773-4334.

Tracey Lane Fire - May 2021


Left: garage; right: residence.

    At 5:39 a.m. on Monday, May 17th, Grand Island firefighters responded to a Tracey Lane structure fire. The resident advised the GI Fire Company that the fire originated in an unattached two car garage. Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski stated that the garage was fully involved when Engines #2, #5, LT6 and fire suppression crews arrived on location. The bulk of the fire was knocked down and overhaul commenced at 6:06 a.m. Mutual Aid assistance was received from the Sheridan Park VFD and City of Tonawanda Fire Department. Damage was estimated at $30,000 to the garage, $10,000 to the contents, $10,000 to the exposed residence and $10,000 to the exposed building next door. Although the origin was confirmed to be within the garage itself, the exact cause remains under investigation according to Chief Sadkowski. All participating units returned in servicce by 7:19 a.m.

Niagara Sailing Club Heavily Damaged by Fire - March 2021

GI Fire Company Photo.

Robert Haag Photo.

    At 3:35 p.m. on Saturday, March 20th, Grand Island firefighters responded to a structure fire at the Niagara Sailing Club on East River Rd. Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski reported that Engines #3, 4, 5, Ladder Truck 6, and fire suppression crews encountered heavy smoke and flames engulfing the building upon their arrival on location. Mutual Aid assistance was received from Sheridan Park Fire Company, Kenmore Volunteer Fire Department and City of Tonawanda Fire Department. The fire was brought under control at 4:31 p.m. Total damage was estimated at $200,000 to the structure and $100,000 to the contents. A neighbors shed also sustained $5,000 fire damage. The exact cause remains under investigation. There were no injuries reported. All participating units returned in-service by 6:23 p.m. except for one crew remaining on-scene to assist Erie County Sheriff Department fire investigator.

Barn Destroyed in Staley Road Fire - March 2021

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   At 10:23 a.m. on Friday, March 12th, Grand Island firefighters responded to a barn fire in the 2900 block of Staley Road. Ass't Fire Chief John Podlucky reported that the building was fully involved when engines #2,3,4,5 and fire suppression crews arrived on location. Mutual aid assistance was received from the Sheridan Park VFD and City of Tonawanda Fire Department, and the fire was brought under control at 10:58 a.m.
   Damage was estimated at $75,000 to the structure and $50,000 to the contents which included a considerable loss of livestock trapped inside. The exact cause remains undertermined according to Ass't Chief Podlucky. There were no injuries reported and all units were back in service by 12:30 p.m. .

GI Residence Damaged by Fire - March 2021

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
   At 11:37 a.m. on Monday, March 8th, Grand Island firefighters responded to a structure fire at a Woodlee Lane home. Meanwhile, all occupants were able to safely exit the burning interior, prior to their arrival.
   Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski reports that firefighters encountered heavy smoke venting from the building when they arrived on location with engines #2, 5 and LT6. Mutual aid assistance was received from Brighton VFD, Sheridan Park VFD, River Road VFD, Kenmore VFD and the City of Tonawanda Fire Department. The fire was brought under control at 12:10 p.m.
   Damage was estimated at $100,000 to the structure and $75,000 to the contents. Cause remains undetermined according to Fire Investigator Mike DeMartin of Grand Island. There were no injuries reported. All participating units returned to service by 1:46 p.m.

Adopt A Hydrant Program Pursued by the GI Fire Company- February 2021

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    Grand Island Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski urges residents and business owners to "adopt" a nearby fire hydrant to keep them clear of heavy snow accumulations. He stressed that during fire emergencies, firefighters should not have to locate and dig out hidden hydrants, to gain a ready water supply for on scene apparatus. Any time taken away from actual firefighting operations could prove to be costly in terms of property damage or rescue efforts. Such delays can be avoided with help from the community. Your GIFC volunteers will appreciate such valuable assistance.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning an Everpresent Danger - February 2021

Story by Ray Pauley, Public Information Officer.
    Grand Island Fire Chief Mark Sadkowski reports a steady increase in CO incidents over the past two months. Firefightwrs responded to four such calls during Decembewr 2020, which then doubled to eight during January 2021.
    Chief Sadkowski stated that most of these calls involved faulty detectors, however, in one instance a reading of 10 PPM was caused by a water heater venting problem and the homeowner was advised to take corrective action.
    Fire officials note that CO poisoning closely mimics the flu with headaches, nausea, etc. CO itself is difficult to detect because it is colorless, odorless, tasteless and is the result of incomplets combustion. Any sustained levels of 150-200 PPM can be fatal to anyone exposed. It is therefor crucial that gas fired appliances and other sources such as furnaces, stoves, wood burning stoves and fireplaces, hot wat heatwes, boilers, etc., be checked by qualified technicians on a regular basis.. Such a precaution, along with fully operational CO detectors, will help to prevent life threatening consequences by this "silent killer."

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