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County Leaders Attend Fire Coordinators' Conference

Fire Coordinators' Conference

From the left are Sullivan County Chief Deputy Fire Coordinator Jack Halchak, NYS Fire Administrator James Cable, Sullivan County Senior Deputy Fire Coordinator Tom Totten, Deputy Fire Coordinator Charlie Rampe and Training Coordinator Joe Mall.

Montour Falls, NY – The Sullivan County Bureau of Fire sent four members to the Fire Coordinators Association State of New York Annual Conference this past month.

Senior Deputy Fire Coordinator Tom Totten, Chief Deputy Fire Coordinator Jack Halchak, Deputy Fire Coordinator Charlie Rampe and Training Coordinator Joe Mall joined 90 other coordinators and their deputies from across New York State.

To open the conference, New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray presented what has been accomplished since the last conference and what her office is working on now. She noted that training is a particularly important topic. There are now monetary stipends for firefighters taking classes.

State Fire Administrator James Cable stressed training as well, so that firefighters can actually do their job as firefighters. Other topics covered included disaster recovery, counter terrorism, and consolidation of departments. The Association’s Region 4 Director Dave Denniston shared highly informative insights into the new Fire Brigade standard that will affect all of the fire departments across the State.

“The lessons we learn and the connections we make at this conference are incredibly valuable,” affirmed Sullivan County Fire Coordinator John Hauschild. “For example, speakers from Schenectady County shared how they dealt with two incidents involving trucked natural gas, and our neighbors in Orange County gave a riveting slide show about last year’s band bus rollover on I-84 near Middletown, noting that a unified command helped create a successful outcome.”

The most heart-wrenching presentation came from Rockland Fire Coordinator Chris Kear on the Line of Duty Death (LODD) of firefighter Lieutenant Jared Lloyd while battling a nursing home blaze in Spring Valley. Attendees heard audio of the mayday call and the rescue attempt, and they listened to the story of the recovery of Lloyd’s body, his funeral, the court case and the subsequent impacts.

“For the four of us from Sullivan County, it was a very educational trip and gave us a chance to learn from our counterparts across the State,” noted Chief Deputy Fire Coordinator Jack Halchak.