County honors firefighter, emergency training
TYRONE—Area firefighters and emergency responders from Schuyler and surrounding counties were honored for completing training in 2011.
A banquet was held Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Tyrone Fire Hall, by Schuyler County Emergency Management. Coordinator Bill Kennedy said 89 firefighters completed courses, gaining 106 certificates and training for 2,878 hours. He added 26 students completed EMS classes for 2,100 hours.
“This does not include the monthly drills, weekly drills. There’s lot more training going on than you’re hearing,” said Kennedy. These classes are over and above the hours spent on department training and responding to the emergencies as needed.
Of all the Schuyler County students, Mark Specchio Jr. from the Watkins fire department had 133 hours of training, the most for 2011. The other top training hours by Schuyler department were: Hector, Nick Dalrymple with 127 hours; Odessa, Alexandria Hassan, Todd LaRow, Patrick Rekczis, Aubrey Tomassi with 91 hours each; Burdett, Bryan Rhoads with 91 hours; Mecklenburg, Wayne Lauper with 91 hours; Montour Falls, Steve Lawton with 50 Hours; Tyrone, Mike Wood with 45 hours; Beaver Dams, Lloyd Lanning, Pamela Moore, Ed Moore with 27 hours each; and Monterey, Ed Lewis, James Pinkard with 27 hours each.
Kennedy said 19 trainees were from outside Schuyler County. Out-of-county students included two from Dundee: Ernest Martin and Lawrence Weaver. It was noted that students came from as far away as Maine and Ohio to participate in the Firefighter 1 class last year. Classes included Emergency Vehicle Operations, Intro to Fire Officer, Fire Police, Firefighter Survival, Scene Support, and Haz Mat Refresher. Responders are required to complete training each year. Course leaders included the fire department chiefs in Schuyler County and state instructors like Glenn Miller.
In looking at the current year, Kennedy said there have been 11 emergency response deaths in the first six weeks of 2012. He added, “that’s why we train.” It was also noted that there have been at least three classes with 100 students each this year.