February & March 2024 Newsletter

Rush Fire District

ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING: The 2024 Organizational Meeting was on January 4 2024. Scott Goodman was appointed Chairman and Doug Platt Vice-Chairman. Aletha Steehler was appointed to the position of Treasurer and Catherine Stappenbeck to the position of Secretary and Deputy Treasurer. The official newspaper will be the Penny Saver. The meetings will be held 3rd Tuesday at 7:00PM. The Chiefs & Line Officers were approved by the district commissioners. The commissioners thanked the 45 fire department officers and membership for all they do for the people we serve.

AMBULANCE RESPONSE: Beginning January 8th the Board of Commissioners and Chiefs have decided to begin to have an ambulance started automatically for all BLS level calls in the Rush Fire District. This will help cut down on response time in the event we cannot obtain a crew for the ambulance. Our neighboring agencies have been contacted and support this decision.

AMBULANCE COST: We are going to start charging for Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance responses in the near future. You have already been paying for Advance Life Support (ALS) when needed. If you have medicare and have used the ambulance it was covered and still will be covered so you won’t see any change. If you have health coverage that includes ambulance service you may have a co-pay. The rates will be posted in the Rush Fire District website as soon as we get a final figure. The fire department will still purchase the new ambulance when needed using fund drive money.

ANNUAL BUDGET: The 2024 fire district budget: The tax rate will be $1.22 per thousand. We have a paid station attendant on-duty Monday through Saturday performing station duties and responding immediately to a call as a first responder. Firefighters are now cleaning both stations and continue to mow the lawn at house one. A neighbor at West Rush has been mowing that lawn. The town highway department is allowing us to do some preventive maintains on the apparatus saving hundreds of taxpayer dollars.

Volunteer Fire Department & Ambulance

2024 FIRE & AMBULANCE ACTIVITY: Total of 514 calls – EMS (Ambulance) were 65% of the calls. We had one major loss fire during 2023. We used our automatic mutual-aid five times in 2023. We responded to 18 requests for assistance to other districts. Our #1 call is for vehicles hitting deer and causing a fluid leak. Our #1 EMS call is for lift assists.

“IS THERE A FIRE IN YOU?”: In just 10 years the number of volunteer firefighters in NYS has dropped from 120,000 to 80,000. 93% on All New York State firefighters are volunteer.

WARMING LOCATION: The fire department had station one open during the power outage. The ladies auxiliary had snacks and drinks available – Not one resident took advantage of this situation.

ALL VOLUNTEERS: None of our members are paid for the hundreds of hours they put in to serve the Rush community. Our members attended countless hours of training on our scheduled drill nights alone. 17 members took a NYS courses (Fire/EMS) outside of the normal Monday night drill. 44 members attended conferences, seminars, outside training, and took extra classes to advance their knowledge in several subject areas related to fire service, leadership, water rescue and emergency medical service. We have county and state instructors in the department. We are your neighbors, mechanics, teachers, bus drivers, computer technicians, construction workers, retirees, students, family members, and friends. Thank you for your support. We look forward to serving the Rush community and our neighboring fire departments in 2024!

OFFICERS FOR 2024: Chief Jon Faugh, Asst. Chiefs Mike Terzo Jr. and Dan Kwiecien, Fire Police Captain Kevin Kolmetz, Captain & Safety Officer Jim McNeil, Lieutenants Dale Sweet, Jason Dundon, EMS DO Zach DuBois and EMS Lieutenant Tom Dundon. Social Officers: President Heidi Sweet, Vice-President Kevin Kolmitz, Secretary Diana Pfersick, Treasurer Bob Faugh, Asst. Treasurer & Asst. Secretary Zach DuBois.

FUND DRIVE: We have about 600 of the 1,300 requests returned with a donation, including United Way. We have received a total of $46,000 in donations. A sincere thank you to those who have responded and/or donated!

FIRE PREVENTION: Many of the fire publications have fire department’s that boast about how many serious calls they respond to. We boast on how the residents that we serve are very fire and safety conscious and do not need our services very often, We thank you for this. Please continue the great work. We feel that our years of fire prevention & education efforts have paid off. These efforts do work and help control accidental fires and resulting injuries or death in Rush.

LADIES APPRICIATION DINNER: The firefighters put on a dinner for the Ladies Auxiliary at their Christmas party in December.

CAN YOU BE SEEN? Many of you jog and/or walk along the road. It has come to our attention that many of you cannot be seen. Some wear dark clothing or ride some type of motorized chair/device with no reflective or light colors on that could endanger your life. Also carry some form of identification and emergency information with you. Please wear something reflective – Lime-Yellow with reflective tape should work.

FACEBOOK & WEB SITE: The website has a link to the state program and information on our home page. There is also a box to click on for membership information. “Like us” Rush Volunteer Fire Department. There are health & safety messages posted, breaking news on incidents, congratulations to our members, photos and much more. Check it out.