Earlier this week, Catholic Health recognized Lewiston Fire Co. No. 1 as Agency of the Year for exceptional work in emergency medical services. Acknowledged members included Chris Copland, Matt Grainge, Colby Chretien, Steven Skutnik, Jacob Meagher, Michael Richards, Kevin Krueger, Terry Rutland and Kevin Day. Firefighters and EMTs were commended for three call responses in which they saved lives in critical situations.
A press release noted, “Lewiston Fire Co. No. 1 offers more than just fire protection to the community. Some may be unaware of the daily calls for EMS service and transport that the LFD1 fulfills. Lewiston 1 operates two ambulances at the advanced EMT level, serving the Town and Village of Lewiston.
“The year 2020 presented the company with many challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and with this the volunteers of Lewiston 1 rose to the occasion.”
Catholic Health stated, “EMS response in Niagara County has been a struggle for a number of years now – especially trying is the availability of advanced life support providers. Understanding this struggle throughout Niagara County, and within their own district, the Lewiston Fire Co. No. 1 dedicated an inordinate amount of time and resources to increase the level of care of their agency, from basic life support to advanced life support.
“This is no small feat as this requires a new level of New York State Department of Health certifications, purchasing of new equipment, a new level of training, and additional continuing medical education requirements for their providers.
“Additionally, the amount of time that the providers of the Lewiston Fire Co. No. 1 dedicate to training and enhancing their knowledge and skills is second to none. To truly understand how important training is to their organization one simply needs to view their Facebook page to see the countless training drills and CME events being held at their hall on a regular basis.
“Not only do they care about their own training, but they also care about the training and education of their mutual aid companies and, because of this, they regularly open their training opportunities to all area providers.
“Understanding the need for constant training and education, the Lewiston Fire Co. No. 1 collaborated with the Catholic Health System to create the first-of-its-kind in Western New York mobile simulation and training unit to enhance EMS education all throughout Western New York.”
Assistant Chief EMS Grainge said, “I am so proud of the men and women of Lewiston Fire Co. No. 1. They dedicate so much to our community, not only responding to emergency calls but in training and other functions within the company. The teamwork here is second to none and paramount to our success.
“2020 was an exceptionally busy year with stressful conditions surrounding the pandemic, and our members did not miss a step, responding to 1,008 calls throughout the year.”