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Lewiston Fire Co. No. 1
Lewiston Fire Co. No. 1

Lewiston No. 1 celebrates 110 years of service to community

Mon, Apr 29th 2024 07:05 am

Value of volunteerism, teamwork by membership praised at installation

By Terry Duffy


Group Photos by Kevin and Dawn Cobello, K&D Action Photo & Aerial Imaging

Lewiston Fire Co. No. 1 members celebrated 110 years of service to the Town and Village of Lewiston community at their 85th installation, held April 20 at Brickyard Brewing Co.

“It’s nice to come to my own fire district, my hometown,” said Niagara County Sheriff Michael Filicetti, who served as master of ceremonies for the event. He went on to offer his praise to Lewiston No. 1 members for their volunteerism and teamwork with the community.

“I just want to say thank you to all the volunteers,” Filicetti said. “You don’t hear it enough, we in law enforcement. I guess I want to thank you on two fronts. I want to thank you as a law enforcement officer for everything you do, and everything you provide. You work as a team with us every single day. When the bell rings, you show up.”

That spirit of teamwork went on to serve as a theme for this annual event.

In his remarks, fire company chaplain Frank Previte said that, being part of the fire service and also serving as chief of the Lewiston Police Department, rank as the most significant events in his life: “Being part of both of those, there is such a brotherhood in both of those organizations. … Through that, there’s a lot a friendships, a lot of time, a lot of faces, a lot of people that I met, that I never would get the opportunity to unless I was part of this organization. … That’s what makes it so hard, when you lose somebody that you care about or has been a part of our lives.”

Incoming Lewiston No. 1 President Tracy Grant presented the president’s report on behalf of outgoing President Barry Beebe, who was absent that evening.

“Barry’s mantra is family. School work and then firehall. He repeats the list time after time when new members come into the hall,” Grant said.

Noting Lewiston No. 1’s century-plus years of service to the community, he said, “One hundred and ten years ago, in 1914, when a few people had a little idea that became the beginning of this fire company, (was) the concept to answer the call for those who need assistance. So, Barry would like to thank those of us who served with him on the executive committee for the last five years. Spending a lot more time away from our families, running the business that is the firehall, in addition to the calls for those in need.

“He said ‘not one of them would say that the thanks was needed, because they understand the importance of what happens in the office, the executive office, the line office.’ And it affects what we do outside the hall.”

The program went on to see swearing-in ceremonies for Lewiston No. 1’s line officers and administrative officers for 2024-24 by town justices, the Hon. Hugh Gee and the Hon. Thomas Sheeran.

Lewiston No. 1 line officers include Fire Chief Spencer Lilly; assistant chiefs – fire, Will McEvoy and Chris Copeland; assistant chief – EMS, Matthew Grainge; fire captains Jacob Meagher and Keith Parmer; EMS captain Kevin Krueger; fire lieutenants Eugene Siegrist and Andrew Fultz; EMS lieutenant Collin Monteleone; and fire police lieutenant Josh Kilmer.

Fire company administrative officers for 2024-25 are: Grant, president; Rick Horton, vice president; John Penzotti, recording secretary; Beebe, financial secretary; and Les Myers, treasurer. Also, directors: (three years) Matt Ingham; (two years) Brian Christman; (one year) David Defazio and director emeritus James Franey.

Exempts for 2024-25 include: Linda Fleck, president; Steve Cline, vice president; Frank Dengate, recording secretary; Brian Christmas, treasurer; and Harry Raby Jr., Roger Hutton and Doug Burnett as trustees.

In his chief’s report, Lilly told visitors that Lewiston No. responded to 1,073 calls for service in 2023: “Not quite a record-breaking year, but very close and still a very high workload on our ever-dwindling membership.”

Top responders for 2023 included Copeland with 355 calls; Mike Conway, 314; Brian Christman, 290; Grant, 200; Rick Horton, 205; Lilly, 193; Beebe, 192; Grainge, 187; Krueger, 183; Parmer, 170 and Meagher, 153.

Lilly said Lewiston No. 1 acquired a new power load system for its second ambulance, which greatly assists responders with the lifting of patients and fire victims into the vehicle during times of need. Also, that Lewiston No. 1 continues its work on designing and completing specs for its new pumper truck, which he hopes would go out for bid later in 2024.

Lilly closed by praising the value of Lewiston No. 1’s membership and its willingness to serve.

“And last, we continue to recruit new members,” he said. “We’re lucky to have a lot of new members, new faces around. I’m proud to say we have a great group of young and motivated individuals. All of these recruits have already begun working hard to complete their EMT, and their firefighter 1 (training).

“It’s great to see new members join the ranks, as they’re the future of the fire service. … It’s great to have a lot of new, shiny red fire trucks and equipment, (but) without the dedication of membership to staff the equipment we wouldn’t be able to do our best to assist the community in times of need.

“Thank you to the membership for your dedication and willingness to serve the community, time and time again.”

Attending Lewiston No. 1 administrative officers take their oaths from the Hon. Thomas Sheeran.

Lewiston No. 1’s top responders for 2023.

Lewiston No. 1 line officers take their oaths from the Hon. Hugh Gee.

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