Dundee Rescue Team: Firefighter of the Year
YATES COUNTY-The heroic work from the members of the Dundee Boat Rescue Team has earned the honorary award of Yates County Firefighter of the Year from the Fire Chief's Association.
The fire department rescue members were recognized at the Yates County Emergency Responder Training Banquet Friday evening, April 24.
The Dundee nomination tells the story about the team's life-saving rescue during the Penn Yan Flood of 2014:
"During the severe rainstorm in Penn Yan, on May 13-14, 2014, seven members of the Dundee Fire Department were able to evacuate five people trapped by flood waters in a house at 271/2 Champlin St. As the storm worsened that evening, flooding steadily increased in the creek bed behind the east side of Main Street, which at one time was a boat basin for canal boats to service the local businesses.
A particularly low lying area known as Champlin Street became critical, with the five occupants of the house finding themselves trapped in the residence by the rising water. The only way to evacuate the people was by boat, but there were none available in the area.
Fortunately, the Dundee Fire Department had just received their 14-foot inflatable rescue boat, but it was back at the Dundee station still in crates. Several members brought the boat to the Penn Yan Station, assembled and inflated it, and brought it on site. Firefighters on scene carried the boat the considerable distance from the staging area to the flooding, where the Dundee members began the rescue process.
The decision was made to use the boat and a ladder to make the rescue from a second floor window. Rescuers paddled the boat 40 feet through the dark, swirling water into position, secured it with ropes, and made entry to the house from the ladder. One interior wall had to be breached to aid the evacuation, and an elderly female from the first floor apartment was brought to the second floor as the first to be rescued.
Dundee members helped the woman negotiate the ladder and get safely into the boat where she could be paddled to safe ground. Ropes were secured from the shore to the boat and to the house, so that the boat could be pulled into position against the current for the second rescue, a woman and her three children. Additional pulling assistance was provided by firefighters at the scene, and the Dundee members were able to secure the boat to the house to evacuate the remaining residents.
Rescuers located in the house and in the boat helped the frightened family get out the window, down the ladder, and into the boat. The boat was pulled to safety, completing the evacuation. The remaining Dundee members in the house were retrieved and brought to solid ground, bringing the operation to a successful conclusion."
Dundee Fire Department Rescue Boat members include:
Ray Miller, Doug Miller, Tracey Miller, Ernest Martin, Richard Lee Fritz, Jeff Moore, Matthew Hooey, Jeremy Belanger and David Bambey.
Also at the dinner, the following training awards were presented to county responders:
John P. Woods Individual Fire Training Awards:
• Brian Chaffee Branchport 106 hours
• Neil Martin Benton 106 hours
• Brian Nolt Himrod 106 hours
• Matt MacKerchar Penn Yan 106 hours
• Melody Huttar Benton 124 hours
• Trevor Huttar Benton 124 hours
• Jonathan Nolt Himrod 128 hours
• Joshua Shipman Branchport/KP 130 hours
• Corey Slocum Branchport/KP 139 hours
• Matthew Ryder Himrod 152 hours
• Linford Fritz Himrod 167 hours
• Joseph Yankanich II Potter 242 hours
Individual EMS Training Awards:
• Sam Dolliver PYAVAC 160 hours
• Kevin Becker PYAVAC 160 hours
• Jonathan Cook PYAVAC 160 hours
• Lindsey Draper PYAVAC 160 hours
• Ed Allen Dundee Ambulance 178 hours
• Morgan Christler Middlesex Fire 180 hours
• Jacob Banas Branchport/KP 185 hours
Combined Fire And Ems Training Award - Top 5
• Jennifer Collins Himrod 134 hours
• Lauren Diaz Potter 149 hours
• Wesley Youngman Penn Yan & PYAVAC 190 hours
• Jeffrey Moore Dundee Fire & Ambulance 191 hours
• Tabitha Haesche Himrod 197 hours
Sandy Bates, chief of Branchport/Keuka Park Fire Department - Presented The H. Robert Hathaway Officer of the Year Award: Chief Matthew Martin, upon the posthumous honor of being named the Yates County 2014 Officer of the Year.