By Jack Halchak, past chief HFD
The Hurleyville Fire Department is always looking to recruit new members. You can stop in on any Monday evening at 7 p.m. to get an application or see what we are all about. If you don’t want to fight fire we can use fire police or you can work behind the scenes and support the front line fire fighters. We do more than just fight fire. We even provide all of your training for free.
The Fire Department held its annual member/family picnic early in August and more than 130 were treated to lunch and a fantastic dinner.
After dinner the awards for 2016 were given out. First up was an Appreciation Award for firefighter Mike Shapiro. Mike is our sound man, he sets up a sound system for all of our events. The Halloween Parade, the Dworetsky Parade and fishing contest are just a few examples of Mike’s hard work. Thanks Mike.
John O’Neil received the Attendance Award. John doesn’t miss too many Monday nights (our drill night) or other functions, such as meetings, parades or any other special event the fire department is involved in. Thanks John for all of your efforts.
Next came the Community Service Award. The fire department recognizes a person, organization or business that helped out or supported the many fire department endeavors in a special way or ways. Sometimes it is one great help and sometimes years of special support. This year’s award was presented to Steve Gottlieb of the Liberty Trading Post for his years of supporting our many raffles and events. Steve is a firefighter in Rock Hill and a real community minded person. His staff at the Trading Post is always ready to help out with all of your needs. Thank you, Steve.
Years of service pins were handed out to a number of members. A pretty special 5 year pin was given to both Josh Conlon and Austin Halchak. Both of these guys joined as junior members when they were 16 years old and still in high school. Well done, to both of you.
Then came the heavy hitters:
Past Chief Roy “Porky” Worden, Past Chief George Price and Past Chief Steve Dainack were recognized for 53 years of service each.
Mendy Greenspan has 54 years of service
Vic McCarthy and Joe LaRuffa were recognized for 55 years of service. Joe was the secretary of the fire department for many, many years.
Gary Charnow was recognized for 57 years of service.
Past Chief Nelson Durland was recognized for 60 years of service. Nelson is also a Past President of many different firematic organizations.
George Fedun was honored for 62 years, and Fred Turner for 63 years.
Then we got to our senior members: Oscar Pavloff was Chief of the Fire Police for many years, is pushing 95 years in age, and has 65 years of service. He is our oldest living member. Ed Orlowsky has 69 years in the Hurleyville Fire Department, making him our senior member with the most years of service.
Each of the members with 50 years of service or more was given a Certificate honoring them for their service to the fire department and their community by:
FASNY – Firemen’s Association State of New York
OFPC – Office of Fire Prevention and Control
HVVFA – Hudson Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association
The FASNY and OFPC certificates were presented by John P.Farrell Jr. 2nd Vice President of FASNY.
Then came the highlight of the afternoon: Firemen of the Year.
It was with great honor that all those members honored for 50-plus years of service were the 2016 Hurleyville Fire Department Firemen of the Year. Each member was given a plaque with their name on it to commemorate their accomplishment. Well-deserved and congratulations to all of you.
On a sad note, my Dad’s service of remembrance was held with full Military Honors and a Firematic Service. The Loch Sheldrake and Fallsburg Fire Departments brought their laddertrucks to hang a large (20’ x 40’) American Flag in back of the firehouse. Terry Mullen played the bagpipes as the firefighters marched in and Hurleyville Fire Department Chaplains Melvin Boone and Jim Kaufman presided over a service my Dad would have been proud of. Thank you to all who honored my Dad that day.
As you get this paper it will be very close to 9-11. Pause and think about those who lost their lives that day. The Monticello Fire Department will hold its remembrance service on Monday 9-11 at their firehouse at 7 p.m. The Wurtsboro Fire Department, in conjunction with
the American Legion – Mamakating Post 1266 will be hosting its annual service also on 9-11 at 7 p.m. in at their park in Wurtsboro. Both of these event are open to all.
You will be reading this in September, and I must announce that Fire Prevention Week is October 8 – 14. This year’s theme is Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out.
More on this topic in October.
As I write this article we only had one call at the Morningside Four Corners since I last wrote.
However we had a couple of cool nights and the county had its first chimney fire of the season.
The last bit of good news for this month is that the Fire Department traveled to the Hortonville Field Day and Parade and won a trophy for 1st place marching. Congratulations to Chief Alan Price and those who marched. The next parade is the Sullivan County parade in Wurtsboro on Saturday, October 7.