Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick announced Grand Island resident Raymond W. Pauley was named the April Citizen of the Month in recognition of his service to the community through the Grand Island Fire Co. and other contributions. Pauley, who has been a member of the fire Co. for more than 50 years, was presented a proclamation during the legislature's April 28 session.
"Like so many of our volunteer firefighters, Ray has given thousands of hours of his time to protect others. He represents the best that mankind has to offer," said Hardwick.
Joined by his wife, Sam, Pauley was honored by the entire legislature for his dedication. Also in attendance to recognize Pauley were Grand Island Fire Chief Matt Osinski and members of the fire company.
Soon after moving to Grand Island in 1962, Pauley joined the Grand Island Fire Co. Over the years, he has been involved in fighting many of the Island's major fires, including the Bedell House fire at the end of Ferry Road, the Beaver Island Casino fire and the Mesmer Dairy fire. His commitment to protecting the Island and its residents has been incredible, Hardwick said. On average, since 1999, Pauley has responded to 788 calls per year.
Pauley has also provided years of leadership to the Grand Island Fire Co., holding positions since 1970, including second assistant chief, deputy chief and fire chief, and has served on the Grand Island Fire Co. Board of Review and the Board of Directors. In the 1980s, Pauley was appointed as the first Grand Island Fire Co. public information officer, a position created by former Fire Chief Peter McMahon and one that he still holds today.
In addition to active service, Pauley has been preserving firefighting history by assembling a major collection of firefighting memorabilia over the years, including nozzles, badges, helmets and different types of alarm equipment.
Pauley has spent years serving the community, working as an Erie County social worker and then for the New York State Division of Parole.