by Ray Pauley
Public Information Officer
Grand Island Fire Co.
Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick administered the oaths of office to newly elected Grand Island Fire Co. officers Saturday, Jan. 10, at fire headquarters, 2275 Baseline Road. Both firematic and administrative officers were sworn to uphold their 2015 community protection duties.
Hardwick was joined by New York state Assemblyman John Ceretto, New York state Sen. Marc Panepinto, Grand Island town officials, including Supervisor Mary Cooke, other guests and family members in praising the outstanding commitment of these volunteers.
Matt Osinski begins his second term as fire chief and will be joined by Deputy Fire Chief Chris Soluri; First Assistant Chief Mark Sadkowski; Second Assistant Chief Omar Sortino; fire captains Dan Mathes, Ryan Ayers and Jon Cinelli; Day Capt. Kevin Koch; Fire Police Capt. Don Portik; and emergency medical services captains Don Turner and Jeremy Pullano.
President John Podlucky will be assisted by Vice President Don Turner, Recording Secretary Ambria Tim, Line Secretary Mike Anderson, Financial Secretary Nicole Gerber, Treasurer Tony Mastantuono and Sergeant-at-Arms Dave Khreis, who also holds a position on the board of review.
Pullano returned to the board of directors and Saed Shafie was newly elected to his first term.
Robert Meyer returned as a Benevolent Association trustee.
Nicole Butcher, president of the Ladies Auxiliary, introduced her officers: Vice President Heidi Sue McCormick, Secretary Jacquie Dailey, Treasurer Nancy Amato, Chaplain Mary Becker and trustees Julie Meyer, Darcy Golde and Hanean Shafie.
A special chief's award was presented to Cinellie for his exceptional performance and covering 2014 public relations events in the community, 100 percent squad duties and for his leadership as the 2014 EMS captain.
Sortino, Mathes, Ryan Ayers and Turner also received special EMS and fire commendations for their efforts when two victims were rescued during a fiery two-car motor vehicle accident Sept. 22.
Portik, Scott Shaw, Rob Soluri, Gerber and Ben Shaw were also singled out for their extraordinary lifesaving teamwork in treating a patient in cardiac arrest Dec. 7.
Hardwick and Cooke also recognized these members, as well as Dave Tolejko for 50 years of dedicated service, which included 20 years on the board of directors.
Four members who completed rookie training during 2014 are Adrianne Berndt, Nick Egloff, Charles Jones and Nate Tilkins. Egloff was designated Rookie of the Year for his noteworthy accomplishments. Michele Jones was also congratulated for obtaining her 2014 New York state certification as a paramedic.
Communications Supervisor Steve Morgan also received a special commendation for his exhaustive work in establishing a new policy and procedures manual, addressing critical personnel needs, red alert upgrades and close collaboration with line officers in working out Ebola policy.
"Top 10" responders were again led by Ray Pauley with 859 calls. Others, in sequential order, are Sortino, Cinelli, Egloff, Skip Mrkall, Osinski, Mathes, Rick Pelham, Tim Krecisz and Pete Coppola.