Story and photos by Ray Pauley
Public Information Officer
Grand Island Fire Co.
New York State Assemblyman John Ceretto, Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick, Grand Island Town Supervisor Mary Cooke and others praised members of the Grand Island Fie Co. for 75 years of extraordinary life-saving services to their community at a gala earlier this month.
The 75th anniversary celebration of the fire company took place at the Asbury Hall in Buffalo on Saturday, May 18, and was supported by many local business leaders in Western New York volunteer fire organizations.
Fire company board chairman Greg Butcher noted that since its humble beginning in 1938, when the town donated land for a fire station and a pumper was purchased by our founding fathers, the GIFC is expanded its fleet to 22 pieces of apparatus, with a new marine unit, a high-level paramedic program, and a state-of-the-art dispatch center.
Such substantial progress came about because of the hard work and foresight of many individuals, the steadfast support of town leaders, as well as friends and neighbors in the community.
President Tammy Gorman, Fire Chief Kevin Koch, and Butcher presented years-of-service awards to 16 individuals who have contributed to the advancement of the GIFC. Two members, Ray Pauley and Jim Linenfelser, received 50-year awards, with special recognition from the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and the Fireman's Association of the State of New York. Past Chief Norm Mrkall was also recognized for his 59 years of service and valuable historical documentation of the GIFC throughout its ongoing development.
The 2013 rookie class was also introduced as follows: Chris Caruano, Bob Dailey, Lena Dombrowski, Michele Jones and Russ Perez.
Nicole Butcher, president of the Ladies Auxiliary, lauded members of the GIFC for their tireless efforts in the past, present and future.