Sixth annual Volunteer First Responder Grants are complete

Submitted by Scott Trefz (Photos courtesy Angelique Wilson)

The Board of the Canastota Area Association of Churches announced that the 2021 grant program wrapped-up at a recent pizza lunch held this year at Hope Christian Fellowship on Peterboro Street, with checks being presented to our four Canastota-area volunteer fire and ambulance companies.

Fundraising set a new record this year, resulting in our ability to both extend the grant program one more year and substantially increase the amount of each grant. This would not have been possible without the thoughtful giving of local businesses, civic organizations and individuals.

We would like thank the following entities and families for their generous support this year.

Individual donors

  • Kerry & Nickolette Brown
  • Patricia Caron
  • Donald & Madlyn Cerio
  • Imogene Downer
  • Jon & Nancy Fradenburg
  • Kim & Mary Kapfer
  • Barbara Malek
  • Mary Ann Mengucci
  • Michael & Andrea Mitchell
  • Anna M. Musacchio
  • Sylvia “Marge” Palmer
  • Ed & Jane Pokorny
  • Mary E. Ramsdell
  • Vincent & Maureen Rinaldo
  • Douglas H. Rosekrans
  • Todd & Mary Rouse
  • David & Theresa Watkins

Businesses and civic groups       

  • Abscope Environmental                 
  • American Legion Post 140
  • Campbell-Dean Funeral Home
  • Believers Chapel of Canastota
  • Louis J. Bruno Residuary Trust
  • Canastota n/c Corporation
  • CCI Companies, Inc.
  • Dr. James Colocotronis, DDS
  • Hope Christian Fellowship
  • MGM (NAPA) Auto Parts             
  • Koester Associates
  • Direct Factory Furniture
  • Oneida Lake Congregational Church
  • St. Agatha’s R-C Church
  • Tanner Insurance Agency of Oneida                       
  • Village Veterinary Hospital
  • Whitelaw Presbyterian Church
  • Canastota Teachers Association
  • Canal Town Optical
  • Canastota Teachers Association
  • Canastota-Lenox Senior Citizens Club
  • Canastota Publishing – Special Thanks for years of quality support              

 Memorial Gifts

  • In Memory of J. Homer & Dorothy Ball, by the J. Homer Ball Funeral Home

The support of the entire Canastota community is essential to its historic success and very much appreciated by the CAAC and the four benefitting organizations: the Canastota Volunteer Fire Department, Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department, Wampsville Volunteer Fire Department and Greater Lenox Ambulance Service. The churches of the CAAC plan to continue the grant program one more time in 2022, and the targeted amount is yet to be determined. The CAAC is urgently seeking a new volunteer grant chair to train next year and to take over after the current chairman’s planned retirement from 2023 on. (Watch for a special announcement regarding future grant programs.)

Anyone interested in additional information or supporting future volunteer first-responder grants is encouraged to contact the CAAC board at 2743 Perryville Road, Canastota, N.Y. 13002 or at 315.655.9742 (faxes accepted).

Canastota’s fire and ambulance services need volunteers of all kinds

At the recent presentation of the annual First Responders Grants this month, the officers and chiefs of all four corps serving Canastota echoed the same thing: “We need more volunteers.” We were surprised to learn how simple and varied the needs were – it’s not all jumping in trucks to rescue people from fires and accidents.

According to GLAS President Dario Damore, there is need for people who have a few hours a month to help with building and grounds maintenance.

Folks with office skills are needed to help with bookkeeping and office chores according to Canastota Chief T.J. Tornatore and Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department President Chris Baker.

Chris Colvin, Wampsville VFD chief echoes that sentiment and went on to say there is almost no one whose available for a couple of hours a week that can’t be found a job to do that would be of significant value to the overall mission of these essential efforts. People with reliable transportation, even temperaments and knowledge of the streets and roads in your area can be easily trained to become fire police, keeping traffic moving around fire and accident scenes.

Of course, drivers are needed to get the equipment to the scenes. Training is provided free by each service, and no CDL license is required, due to a special provision in DMV regulations. In fact, training is provided locally for all of the jobs that need to be done around the fire and ambulance barns of Canastota.

During the past 20 years, volunteerism has lost some appeal among younger people nationally, and our four chiefs need to see a reversal of that trend.

Canastota First-Responders Grant Program announces successful sixth year

The sixth annual Volunteer First Responders Grant Program concluded Saturday, June 12, 2021, with the presentation of checks to officers from each of the four fire and ambulance companies that serve the Canastota area. With COVID restrictions easing, the Canastota Area Association of Churches was able to return to “live presentation.”

After $1,500 checks were presented to each officer present and lunch was being enjoyed, the volunteer organizations chatted about their plans for the funds, always given with no strings or restriction. The varied plans for how they would expend their grant monies showed the tremendous benefits that will be derived by their careful planning and the community’s generosity:

  • Canastota and Wampsville need to update several artificial external defibrillators to the latest standards of operation. Every rescue service relies on a number of these devices to save the lives of people in the community who experience heart attacks.
  • Greater Lenox Ambulance Service will use the money to hold a series of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation instructor classes to certify a number of people in their corps and the community to teach others how to provide these lifesaving skills.
  • Lincoln needs to overhaul and replace a number of fire scene hand tools, including chain saws, to be better prepared for work on structure and brush fires.

Plans are underway to continue the Volunteer First Responders Grant in 2022, providing a new volunteer chairperson can be recruited and trained.

The presentation included special prayers for the safety and effectiveness of each of these four volunteer companies that give so much of their own time for the benefit of all the residents of the Canastota area.

By martha

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