Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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June 29, 2006

Local Firefighters, including Catholic Priest, Head to Herkimer County

Fulton – Fifteen volunteer firefighters and a deputy fire coordinator from Oswego County traveled to Herkimer County Wednesday evening to assist in emergency response to flooding conditions.

The units were dispatched through the New York State Fire Mobilization and Mutual Aid Plan, County Fire Coordinator John Hinds said. Firefighters from Scriba, Minetto, Mexico, and Battalion III, covering eastern Oswego County, left with Deputy Fire Coordinator Bill Dark late Wednesday afternoon.

They included five firefighters from Minetto Volunteer Fire Department; four from Scriba Volunteer Fire Department; and three from Mexico Volunteer Fire Department. The Mexico unit includes the Rev. John Canorro, pastor of St. Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church.

Another group, led by Central Square Fire Chief Dennis Hotaling, is using a Cleveland Fire Department vehicle and includes one member from Cleveland, two from West Monroe, and two from Central Square.

“They’ll be doing a little bit of everything, just like they did for us” during the ice storm in April 2003, Hinds said, when hundreds of firefighters from throughout New York State assisted Oswego County departments. They were scheduled to report to the East Herkimer Fire through 6 p.m. Thursday.

The State Fire Mutual Aid system arranges for a coordinated effort to assist counties that are stretched to their limits due to emergency conditions.

“No departments are to self-deploy,” Hinds emphasized. “Deputy fire coordinators will be contacting fire chiefs in their respective battalions to discuss any future deployments, if they are requested.”

The Storm Emergency Fire Units include two to three firefighters, each with their own personal protective equipment, a fire-department-owned 4-wheel drive pickup, portable pump, portable generator, electric adaptors, chain saw; shovels, and other equipment.

“We appreciate our volunteer members stepping up to help our neighbors,” Hinds noted. “It wasn’t too long ago that we were on the receiving end. We hope the emergency situations in Herkimer County and throughout the state end soon.”

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