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The Telegram
  • Frankfort VFD seeks volunteers from F-S High School

  • “Is there a fire in you?”

    That’s the question the Frankfort Volunteer Fire Department is asking local high school students.

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  • “Is there a fire in you?”
    That’s the question the Frankfort Volunteer Fire Department is asking local high school students.
    The “fire” Chief Paul Conigliaro and the department are looking for is the motivation and desire to help the community and citizens in need of emergency assistance. Teens as young as 16 years of age can join the Frankfort Volunteer Fire Department. Those who are interested or want to learn more are invited, with their parents, to attend a meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m. at the Frankfort Volunteer Fire Station, 158 S. Litchfield St.
    “There we will be delivering a school credit student firefighter presentation for interested students and their parents,” according to Conigliaro. “The program presentation welcomes male and female students 15 to 18 years. However, students must be 16 years old to join and participate.”
    The chief pointed out local fire department personnel are the community’s volunteer first responders during local and regional emergencies.
    “Local citizens young and senior since 1880 have depended on the personnel and commitment of the volunteer fire service, during their time of need,” he said. “However, volunteer numbers are declining nationwide. Therefore we are focusing on our greatest local resource by recruiting high school and college students to experience a possible career or the rewards of service and commitment, compassion and teamwork.”
    In 1998, the Frankfort Volunteer Fire Department implemented the school credit firefighter program in partnership with Frankfort-Schuyler High School. Students who are accepted and successfully complete 120 hours of service annually will receive one credit for each school year. Participation in the program requires parent and school approval and the student must remain in good academic standing at Frankfort-Schuyler High School.
    The program gives students the opportunity to experience the many career fields involved within the emergency services, according to Conigliaro. It offers the opportunity for emergency services training on the regional, state and federal levels. Since the implementation of the program, the department has mentored some 18 student firefighters, some of whom remain active with the department, the chief said.
    Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician Daniel R. Paciello, a 2011 Frankfort-Schuyler graduate, was the first school credit student to accomplish completing state Firefighter I and II, and the state Department of Health Emergency Medical Technician Basic provider within two years. He also logged over 200 hours per year in service and training.
    Firefighters Frank Grippe and Tyler Spellman, who participated in the program during the 2011 - 2012 school year, were the first Frankfort-Schuyler school credit program participants to attend and complete the 96-hour in-residence national Firefighter I training program at the New York State Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls. In a little over a year the two completed a combined 750 hours plus of training and service with the department.
    “This program has taught our son how to achieve his inner goals, and most importantly the reality of safely helping others during their time of need. As parents we are very proud of our son, and his community service,” said Mr. and Mrs. Frank Grippe in a statement.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Tyler has gained a respect for hard work, constant practice and continued learning, as well as an understanding of the value of dedication and teamwork. The value of this program goes way beyond firefighting,” said Melissa Lockwood.
    “Our firefighters certify and train through the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control, both regional and as in-residents at the fire academy, the state Department of Health and the Emergency Medical Services Bureau, involving training and certification in EMT, paramedics and continuing medical education,” said Conigliaro. “We train and certify our emergency responders locally and national through the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.”
    He added grant funding from the state Firemen’s Association enables the department to provide college tuition assistance to any volunteer attending any New York state college.

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