A column from Assemblyman John Ceretto:
The past week's combined efforts by fire companies in the City of Niagara Falls and throughout Niagara County at Norampac Industries and Greenpack Mill facilities epitomize the true heroism, collaboration and civic partnership that exemplify the best of our citizens. These are qualities we are lucky to have in such fine first responders.
On behalf of all the citizens of Niagara County, thank you to each and every firefighter for your bravery, sacrifice and honor. You are role models and the backbone of our community. My thoughts and appreciation are with you all, particularly those firefighters who were treated for heat stroke and other minor injuries. It is another testament to your skills that the majority of firefighters involved were not seriously injured.
The fires that raged through the 25,000-square-foot paper mill and facilities of Norampac Industries and Greenpack Mill could have been devastating to the community at-large, not only if the fire had spread, but for the loss of jobs that could have happened should the sites been further destroyed.
Thanks to the response and cooperation of the 13 fire companies and Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station who fought the blaze throughout the weekend, these jobs - and the lives of these employees and their families - have been safeguarded.
As your state representative, I have fought hard to support our local fire companies, and this fire is another opportunity to encourage civic-minded residents to consider joining a local volunteer fire company. While there are many benefits to becoming a volunteer first responder, including scholarships and property tax discounts, the real benefit comes from being a vital part of our community, a joy that I personally cherish as your voice in state government.
To learn more about becoming a volunteer firefighter or first responder, please visit www.recruitny.org/community or please contact my office at [email protected]. Again, thank you to each of you who serve and make Niagara County such a wonderful - and safe - place to call home.