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Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect until midnight

post by Billie Owens in weather

At 6:55 p.m., the National Weather Service in Buffalo issued a severe thunderstorm watch until midnight in Western New York.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Wires down, large grass fire on Clipnock Road

post by Billie Owens in Bethany, fire, Stafford

Power lines are down and there is a large grass fire at 9267 Clipnock Road, near Sweetland Road. Bethany and Stafford fire departments are responding. National Grid is notified.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Transformer on fire, power lines down at Old East Bethany Road and Ellicott Street Road

post by Billie Owens in Bethany, fire

A transformer is on fire at Old East Bethany Road and Ellicott Street Road. All three primary power lines are also down in the roadway and arcing. Bethany Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 2:14 p.m.: National Grid is notified.

UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: On off-duty law enforcement officer reports the fire is out, but the power lines are blocking the roadway.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 10:24 am

Local entrepreneur has growing new business on Cedar Street

The way 29-year-old Curtis Gallagher sees it, he's finally found a niche in business that isn't already occupied by a hundred other guys doing the same thing.

He's tried blacktop sealing and for two years he ran his own detailing and tinting shop. Now he's selling everything you need to start and maintain your own hydroponic garden.

A week ago he opened Nature's Best Hydro-Garden Center on Cedar Street, Batavia.

Hydroponics is an increasingly popular way for people to grow fruits, vegetables and even flowers without soil. The main medium is water, supplemented with nutrients.

"It's really pretty simple," Gallagher said. "A lot of people are intimidated. They think there's a lot to it, but it's very simple, and the growth rate for the plants and vegetables is twice as fast with hydroponics than in soil."

Gallagher sells everything a hydroponic gardner needs -- the trays and bins, grow tents, grow lights, nutrients and other items gardeners might use.

He settled on hydroponics for his new business because he found that he had a hard time getting what he needed locally to support his own hobby.

So far, he's drawing customers from throughout the GLOW region.

"There's a lot of people who have to travel out of town, so instead of spending their money in the community, they're spending it in Rochester or Buffalo," Gallagher said. "I'm trying to keep it in the community."

His parents loaned him the money to get started, though they were skeptical at first.

 "My parents asked me, are you sure, and I'm like, 'the only way to find out is to try it,' " Gallagher said.

He got out of the detailing business when his lease expired on his building and the landlord wouldn't renew it. He decided it wasn't worth it to try and open a new location.

When he started thinking of a new career, he realized he already had one growing.

"I'm really the only person around here doing this kind of work, and I think around this area, Genesee County, you have to be more creative," Gallagher said. "You have to have something that's more unique to be able to succeed verus just opening up something that everybody else is doing already. Whoever has their foot in the door first is the one who stays with their foot in the door."

Now, Gallagher is looking forward to each new workday.

"It's almost like having a pet," Gallagher said. "Like my tomato plants over there, every day when I come in it's like another tomato and another tomato. It's growing so fast I can't believe it. It's fun. I'm into hunting and fishing. It's like another hobby. Now it's turned into a career, I guess."

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 9:49 am

Trainers specialize in training dogs with aggression issues

post by Julia Ferrini in animals, batavia, dogs, pets

With a bachelor's degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Brockport, Tori Ganino understands the benefits of positive reinforcement in the development of children.

Conversely, this understanding has traversed into her developing business, Calling All Dogs.

She, along with husband Rich Ganino, opened the training and obedience "school" in February, this year. Both hold the belief that positive reinforcement is essential when training dogs with fear and aggression issues. 

“Positive training teaches a dog that something is a good thing,” the Elba resident said. “Punishment techniques only reaffirms fearful behavior.”

Using techniques referred to as "luring," "shaping" and "capturing," Ganino is able to assist dog owners with reshaping their animal’s negative behavior. These training methods use dog treats as a reward system for positive behavior. For example in luring, the owner holds a treat in front of the dog’s nose, brings it back over the top of the dog’s head, the animal then follows the treat and has no alternative but to “fall” into a sitting position; that is when the dog gets the reward. Shaping, though similar to luring, breaks down a command into small steps using treats for the “jackpot” reward. 

“This method rewards the dog for trying, so the dog doesn’t think 'Why am I not winning? This isn’t fun.' It’s a way to make a dog think,” Ganino said.

Capturing on the other hand, rewards a dog when it’s “caught” in an acceptable behavior like lying down. The animal is rewarded with a dog treat or other positive motivation, like petting or playing catch with its favorite ball.

Tori developed an interest in positive dog training methods when she adopted a dog from a shelter who had a negative experience with a person. Furthermore, she had a negative experience when she took her dog to a basic training course, then a second negative experience with a different trainer. 

“I knew that my dog had outward aggression and the techniques used by the other trainers were not helping me or my dog,” she said. “I needed to be an advocate for my dog and find training strategies that use positive reinforcement as a method for obedience.”

To develop her ensuing passion as an advocate for dogs with fear or aggression issues, Tori went to Animal Behavior College via an online course. In addition to classwork and tests, she had to also volunteer at a local shelter or training facility as well as intern with a certified trainer for seven sessions.

“The course taught me the basics, but I wanted to learn more,” the certified trainer said. “It was a great start though.” 

Tori interned with a trainer near Irondequoit for one-and-a-half years. During that time, she continued reading, watching videos and asking “lots of questions,” but she credits the hands-on experience for her enthusiasm to help other dogs and their owners. 

“I am constantly learning and updating my knowledge with books, seminars and other trainers,” Tori said.

Calling All Dogs can also prepare a dog to earn the Canine Good Citizen Certificate. Upon completion of this “rigorous” training, owners can have their dogs test through AKC.org to receive a certificate assuring that the dog is a “really good dog."

“However, emergencies happen and I am here to help,” Tori said. “One client adopted a dog from a shelter, brought the dog home and the dog bit her husband. This happened later at night, I was there the next day to work with the dog.”

Behavior adjustment helps a dog change its thought process, kind of like Pavlov’s Law. Another method is called "Clicker Training" -- work first, then rewarded for work.

“With fear, anxiety and aggression, we take the behavior out of the dog and make it excited that that person or object is really okay,” she said. “It also works with anxiety or fear of sounds such as thunder.”

Ganino also volunteers at the Genesee County Animal Shelter with Volunteers 4 Animals. There she teaches group classes with the volunteers to work with dogs to help them become more adoptable.

“We recently worked with one dog with barrier problems,” Ganino said. “He had a fear with people coming near his crate. We helped make him excited for people to be there.”

Currently, Calling All Dogs holds private lessons in both Genesee and Monroe counties. However, group classes will be starting in the near future at the Tractor Supply on East Main Street, Batavia. While their “ultimate goal” is to open their own building to foster, train and socialize dogs, the business does host Moderate Day Care sessions. 

“It’s like taking your dog on a play date with 10 to 15 other dogs,” Ganino said. “They need to socialize. It’s good for them mentally as well as physically.

“We encourage our clients to do the research,” Ganino said. “Communication is the key between me and our clients; call, text, e-mail; anything to keep the lines of communication open.”

Ganino stresses that her training techniques are based on positive methods, using tools that physically and mentally exercise the animal. She also emphasized that dogs want to learn and owners need to make it fun and get dogs excited about training. According to the dog trainer, oftentimes owners become impressed with what their dogs can do.

“Our business motto is ’Training for all breeds!’ There are always breeds being discriminated against for aggressive personalities,” Ganino said. “For this reason some major training chains do not allow them in their play group or training classes.

”Right now the breed being targeted the most is the pit bull,” Ganino continued. ”We accept all breeds. Every dog can learn and deserves the chance to.”

For more information visit CallingAllDogsNY.com or to volunteer at the Genesee County Animal Shelter visit www.vol4animals.org.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 9:47 am

County Attorney recommends Legislature go along with Darien's request for indemnification, though unnecessary

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien, legislature

It's not necessary, but County Attorney Chuck Zambito is advising the County Legislature to pass a resolution indemnify the Town of Darien against any potential damage caused by the new communication tower installed on fire department property.

If there was some unexpected accident, such as the tower falling, the Town of Darien would face no liability whatsoever if somebody was hurt, Zambito said.

However, the town is holding up signing an agreement to accept emergency radios from the county in order to get the hold-harmless agreement.

"I'm not sure how the two are connected," Zambito told legislators during the Public Service Committee meeting Monday.

It's not the first time the Town of Darien's actions have had Zambito scratching his head. During construction, the town required the county to apply for a building permit, even though legally, the county didn't need a permit.

"In the end, rather than fight about it, I said, 'OK, apply for the building permit' and they immediately gave it to us," Zambito said.

The tower in Darien was built on property owned the Darien Volunteer Fire Department. The county provided the fire department with a hold-harmless agreement because if there was an accident, the fire department could have been sued without it.

That simply isn't the case with Darien, Zambito said, but town officials are insisting on an agreement anyway.

Zambito will draft an agreement and present to the Legislature at a future meeting.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 7:27 am

Frost Ridge announces date change for John Michael Montgomery

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, entertainment, Frost Ridge, Le Roy, music

Press release:

Due to logistical issues in moving this concert to the Genesee County Fairgrounds, this event has been rescheduled for Saturday, Oct. 11th, 2014. If you already have tickets, they are still valid.  

If you have already purchased camping, please come camp with us this weekend for FREE and come back during the weekend of Oct. 11th, 2014 to get the full Jam At The Ridge Experience. More details about the activities for this weekend will be posted on our Web site TheRidgeNY.com as well as our Facebook page.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us keep the music alive at The Ridge NY.

Monday, June 16, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Law and Order: Perry woman accused of impersonating sister when arrested at Dave Matthews concert

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, byron, corfu, crime, Darien, pembroke, perry

Kaitlyn Mackenzie Hayes, 20, of Lake Street, Perry, is charged with criminal impersonation, 2nd, and trespass. Hayes allegedly impersonated her sister to reenter Darian Lake Performing Arts Center during the Dave Matthews concert Wednesday. It was later found that she allegedly used a false identification, her sister, at the time of her arrest.

Justin M. Wotherspoon, 27, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Wotherspoon allegedly had physical contact with a person in violation of a court order. Wotherspoon was jailed without bail.

Danielle Marie Stevens, 37, of Ford Road, Elba, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Stevens is accused of stealing the wallet of a WIC employee who was assisting her. Stevens was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Christopher Free Bragg, 28, of Genesee Street, Corfu, is charged with petit larceny. Bragg is accused of shoplifting from Walmart. 

Richard Michael Wroblewski, 61, of Williamstowne, Cheektowaga, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding (70 in a 55 mph zone). Wroblewski was stopped at 8:10 p.m. Friday on Clinton Street Road, Stafford, by Sgt. Greg Walker.

Cody James Hinchey, 27, of Reed Road, Churchville, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding. Hinchey was stopped at 1:19 a.m. Saturday on Byron Holley Road by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Richard Henry Forman, 64, of Ellinwood Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to keep right. Forman was reportedly involved in a motor-vehicle accident at 3:01 a.m. Friday on Genesee Street, Pembroke. The accident was investigated by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Monday, June 16, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Keuka College names local student to Dean's List

post by David Culver in Milestones

Keuka Park, NY - Erica Culver, daughter of David and Tammy Culver of Oakfield NY, has been named to the Dean's List at Keuka College in Keuka Park NY.

Culver, a junior, is studying Psychology.

At Keuka College students must earn at least a 3.50 grade-point-average for a minimum of 12 semester credit hours to be eligible for the Dean's List.

The national leader in experiental, hands-on learning, Keuka is a private, co-educational college offering 31 majors.  Located in the Finger Lakes region near Penn Yan, Keuka was founded in 1890 and today  has an enrollment of 1,873.





Monday, June 16, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Photos: Lion's Bike Tour

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Lions Club

The Batavia Lions Club hosted its annual Bike Tour in Batavia Saturday. 

Photos submitted by John Murray.

Monday, June 16, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Closing ceremonies for the Cost of Freedom Memorial Wall

post by Julia Ferrini in Closing Ceremony, park, pembroke

Albion native Charles Nesbitt spoke eloquently at Sunday's closing ceremonies for the Cost of Freedom Memorial Wall at Pembroke Town Park. Nesbitt was a UH1H (Huey) helicopter pilot flying with the 57th Assault Helicopter Company in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. He served in the Armed Forces for 10 years. In addition to earning the Air Medal with 26 oak leaf clusters, he recently received the distinguished Flying Cross award for heroism. 

“When I first went to the Vietnam Wall in Washington (D.C.) and walked down the ramp it felt like the wall was engulfing me,” Nesbitt said. “It felt as though it was going to crush me.”

The names on the Cost of Freedom Wall aren’t just names. They are fathers and brothers, mothers and sisters. Every single one of them laid down their life, giving the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow man. Every one of those names, forever etched in stone, belonged to a person, a comrade, a friend. 

Regardless of party affiliation or beliefs, these men and women are recognized and honored as heroes for these United States of America.

Monday, June 16, 2014 at 10:54 am

GCC Start-Up NY Campus Plan introduced to Board of Trustees

post by Billie Owens in GCC, Start-Up New York

Press release:

The Genesee Community College Board of Trustees has reviewed the State University of New York (SUNY) Start-Up New York Campus Plan, along with the criteria that will help guide the College's review and evaluation process of potential project proposals seeking the tax-free designation. The multi-page plan includes designation of two key locations within or in close proximity of GCC's current campuses which present ideal development opportunity.

Specifically cited were approximately 30 acres of flat land within the Upstate New York Medical Tech Park across from the Batavia Campus, and 30,000 square feet of classroom and office space available at the Dansville Campus Center located within the old middle school at 31 Clara Barton St. In addition, 14 other locations were listed as potential sites including eight in Orleans County and three in Wyoming County.

If the Board approves the plan, a 30-day public review process would begin. Copies of the plan would be mailed directly to the legislators and economic development agencies of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties, as well as the various union and student leadership organizations.

Upon their review and approval, the College will then submit the Plan to SUNY for further review, and finally to the Empire State Development for final approval.

Start-Up New York Tax-free Areas to Revitalize and Transform Upstate NY program is a statewide initiative introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo last year to encourage potential developments on or within one mile of each of SUNY's 64 campuses by offering tax-free status to both the company and new employees for up to 10 years. Each SUNY institution can designate up to 200,000 square feet of space for Start-Up New York projects to create new jobs associated with the academic curriculum offered by the connected campus.

"This effort does not supersede the other processes currently in place [with county industrial or economic development agencies]," College President James Sunser said to the trustees. "We will rely on those other processes. For those companies who want to work with us, the first filter the business must meet is an alignment with our academic programs."

The Campus Plan cites GCC's mission and lists the following 11 academic programs that would align with many different business proposals: Business Administration, Biotechnology, Computer Information Services, Computer Support and Operations, Computer Systems and Network Technology, Web Design, Entrepreneurship, Engineering, Food Processing, Healthcare and Supply Chain Management.

For further information about Start-Up NY go to: http://startup-ny.com/

In other business, the Board of Trustees:

•    Heard Kevin Hamilton, vice president of Finance and Operations, report on the results from the request for proposals for the College's food and vending services. After careful committee review and with Board of Trustee approval, American Dining Creations will be GCC's new food service contractor starting July 1 and continuing through June 30, 2017 with an option for additional two one-year periods. Among the new opportunities students and staff will enjoy in the coming years are: a Batavia Campus Subway; increased use of locally grown produce; online ordering and payment of catering services; a smartphone app featuring nutritional guidelines; and the creation of a Campus Dining Advisory Board.

•    Heard Kathleen Schiefen, GCC provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs report that 10 more academic programs have been carefully reviewed against the SUNY Seamless Transfer criteria and will now meet the 64 credit hour limit. Fine Arts AS, Administrative Assistant AAS, Individualized Studies AAS, Computerized Drafting and Design AAS, Computer Support and Operations AAS, Fashion Business AAS, Polysomnographic Technology AAS, Tourism and Hospitality Management AAS and Entrepreneurship AAS now meet the credit hour limit largely through minor adjustments with the number of electives or physical education credit requirements. Schiefen also explained that GCC's Economic Crime Investigation AS degree has altered its focus and has shifted from the Criminal Justice to the Business and Commerce cluster of programs. The new Economic Crime Investigation degree concentrates more on accounting procedures and financial forensics such as deciphering inconsistencies in record and inventory, insurance fraud, data collection and inappropriate business practices.

•    Heard the following employee appointments:

Michele McKay, joins GCC's nursing faculty after teaching LPN to RN transition course as a GCC adjunct faculty member last fall. Previously, she taught pediatrics, maternal-child health, and peri-operative nursing at Niagara County Community College. She also worked at Starpoint and Clarence Central school districts as the school nurse, the VA Medical Center in Buffalo, nursing homes and she has experience as a clinical research nurse. She earned her Nursing M.S. from California State University Sacramento and her B.S. from SUNY Binghamton. She resides in Clarence Center.

Amy Churchfield is now the permanent, full-time associate dean at the Dansville Campus Center after serving as the interim dean since last August. She joined GCC in 2004 as a technical assistant and was promoted in 2010 to technical specialist. She earned her bachelor's degree in Speech and Hearing Education from Elmira College and a master's degree in Higher Education Student Affairs from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She began her career as director of Student Activities at Medaille College. She resides in Groveland.

Diane Palmer has shifted from the Albion Campus Center where she has been a part-time associate since 2008, to the Batavia Campus where she will now serve as a technical assistant and academic advisor. She will also continue teaching as an adjunct faculty member. She earned her M.A. from The SUNY College at Brockport, and her B.A. from Houghton College. She resides in Albion.

Monday, June 16, 2014 at 10:34 am

Melvin J. Wentland, of Le Roy, recognized by GCC for 23 years of dedication and loyalty

post by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Milestones

Genesee Community College Board of Trustees recognized 23 years of service and the unending support of Melvin J. Wentland, Ph.D, a long-term member of the College's governing body. Through the Resolution of Appreciation, official document #13/14-7, the Board reflected on Dr. Wentland's personal integrity, dedication and loyalty to the College.

Through the years since his appointment in 1991, he has served as vice chairman and chairman of the Board, and he served on numerous committees and was the board representative to the GCC Foundation Board of Directors. As an enthusiastic GCC supporter, he contributed to the College's growth and prosperity, never wavering in his concern for students and employees. He participated in numerous College events such as commencement and award ceremonies, athletic and community events.

He is the recipient of two New York Community College Trustee awards, the Marvin A. Rapp Award for Distinguished Service (2001) and in 2006 the prestigious Anne M. Bushnell Memorial Award for Special Achievement.

After reading the Resolution of Appreciation, Board of Trustee Chairman Maureen Torrey Marshall was the first out of her seat to lead a standing ovation on behalf of Wentland.

Wentland is a retired professor of Biology from St. John Fisher College in Rochester. He is active in the community, having served on the Pavilion Central School Board and the Genesee County Citizen's Solid Waste Advisory Committee. He is currently chairman of the Genesee County Planning Board. Wentland holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Marquette University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He and his wife Dorothy live in Le Roy, and have four children.

Monday, June 16, 2014 at 10:29 am

Two BHS girls earn scholarships for Business Education Employability Portfolios

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones

Ashlee Yasses and Cassie Warren from Batavia High School were honored as Business Education Employability Portfolio (BEEP) Scholarship recipients at the Niagara Frontier Industry Education Council/Buffalo Alliance for Education (NFIEC/BAE) Scholarship Breakfast on June 4.

Students from high schools throughout Western New York compete for more than $5,000 of awards by completing an extensive portfolio and rigorous interview process with area industry professionals. The mission of NFIEC/BAE is to bridge industry and education in an effort to grow a vibrant workforce in Western New York.

Monday, June 16, 2014 at 10:23 am

Pavilion student earns Agricultural Engineering degree from Morrisville State College

post by Billie Owens in Milestones, Pavilion

Ethan Richardson, of Pavilion, graduated from Morrisville State College in May with a degree in Agricultural Engineering.

Morrisville State's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2012 President's Higher Community Education Service Honor Roll. The college was recognized, by U.S. News & World Report, in its top tier Best Regional Colleges list and ranked second among regional colleges nationwide for outperforming its anticipated graduation rate. Visit www.morrisville.edu

Monday, June 16, 2014 at 10:19 am

GCC athletics to host summer sports camps for girls - softball, volleyball, soccer

post by Billie Owens in sports

Press release:

Registration is now open for the upcoming summer sports camps that will be hosted by Genesee Community College athletics and its participating programs. The camps include softball, volleyball and girls soccer.

The first scheduled camp is for softball and is open to girls of all ages and skill levels. The camp will run from July 14-17 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. GCC head softball coach Cassie Moore will ensure that each participant learns the proper, fundamental techniques essential for the sport. The cost of the camp is $100 and includes a camp T-shirt, skill drills, infield play, footwork drills, mental side of hitting, bunting, catching drills, relay games and a water balloon fight on the final day. Registration is limited to the first 30 campers. Contact Coach Moore with any questions or concerns: [email protected].

The women's soccer program will host a camp from July 21-25 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for girls ages 12-17. GCC women's soccer head coach Jeff Reyngoudt will be joined by other area coaches and college players throughout the five-day camp. The GCC soccer program believes the "game" is the best teacher and that philosophy will be evident at the camp. Cost is $125 and includes a T-shirt. Contact Coach Reyngoudt with any questions or concerns: [email protected].

Volleyball will host the final summer camp from July 28-Aug.1 for girls in grades 7-12. The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and conclude on Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. GCC head volleyball coach Jim Mercer will ensure that each participant learns the proper, fundamental techniques essential for the sport. Participants will learn the skills, drills and thrills of volleyball led by Mercer and select assistant coaches. Cost of the camp is $125 and includes a camp T-shirt. Contact Coach Mercer with any questions or concerns: [email protected].

Registration for summer camps can be made online: www.geneseeathletics.com.

Genesee Community College athletics program endeavors to provide a quality and competitive intercollegiate athletics program consistent with the National Junior Collegiate Athletics Association (NJCAA) philosophy and the overall educational mission of Genesee Community College. Participation in collegiate athletics should be an extension of the total educational experience for the student athlete. The inherent philosophy emphasizes the athletic setting as a classroom used to teach character, commitment, work ethic, respect for differences, and the importance of sacrifice, teamwork, and cooperation.

For further information and pictures go to Genesee's Athletic Web page, which is updated regularly with game results, team rosters, photographs and information about Genesee's overall athletic program. http://www.geneseeathletics.com

Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 9:53 am

Fun abounds at Stafford FD carnival on Saturday

post by Julia Ferrini in carnival, Stafford

Saturday proved to be a pleasant day as carnival-goers gathered at the Annual Stafford Fire Department Carnival, Main Street, Stafford. This long-standing tradition is the largest fundraiser of the year for the department. Festivities continue throughout the day this Father’s Day.

Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 9:05 am

Remembering fallen firefighters

post by Julia Ferrini in Cost of Freedom, firefighters, pembroke

Firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty were honored Saturday at Pembroke Town Park as part of the four-day Cost of Freedom event held in Pembroke. Genesee County Fire Coordinator Timothy Yaeger applauded those men and women of courage who give unselfishly in aid of others and remembered those who have lost their lives.

Good, reliable firefighting equipment is of course essential. And there are times when that equipment has just as much of a story to tell as those who fight the fires. In this case, it is South Byron’s Rescue 88 vehicle.

“Rescue 88 was just about brand new with the Floral Park Fire Department in Long Island,” Scott Blossom said. “This vehicle was there, on that day, at ground zero.”

The Long Island Fire Department was retiring this truck out of service when South Byron Fire Department was looking to add an ambulance to its inventory.

“This truck was donated. All we had to do was go pick it up,” the Assistant Chief of South Byron Fire Department said. 

Not only did this truck serve New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, this vehicle was also used to bring a life into the world.

“Floral Park (Fire Department) has this neat tradition. They place a stork sticker, with a pink or blue blanket, on their rescue vehicle if a child was born in the ambulance,” Blossom said. “I often wonder how long after 9/11 that baby girl was born in this vehicle.

“Oftentimes, ambulances are on a scene because someone has left this world,” Blossom continued. “I thought it was neat that this one was also used to bring someone into this world.”

In addition to the stork emblem, the ambulance also has an insignia of the badge of one of the Floral Park paramedics who lost his life Sept. 11.

“We’ve had this ambulance for about four or five years now. She’s finally coming up on 50,000 miles,” Blossom said. “She’s a special girl for us.”

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